When Fred Bigelow isn’t running things at the Comox Valley Airport, chances are he’s simply out running.
The “great outdoors” is a passion of Bigelow’s, and there’s no better stress relief for the CV Airport Commission CEO than a jaunt through some of the trails and backroads of the Comox Valley.
“It’s so beautiful here. Even on a gloomy day like today. Ten minutes later you forget that it’s raining outside and you just appreciate where we live.”
Bigelow joined the Airport Commission after a 34-year career with the military.
It was during his military training that he was first introduced to running, and it wasn’t his favourite activity at the time.
“I hated it,” he said.
So what changed?
“I started running again (as an activity) in 1993, 1994, thereabouts. When I was in Halifax, I used to ride my bike to work. There was a bridge that was about a mile long, where you weren’t allowed to ride your bike. So I would get off and run alongside it, then get back on, at the end. I guess that’s where the running started.”
These days, Bigelow reserves the bulk of his running to trails. He makes it a family affair, as often as possible, with his wife, Sarah Savage, and their dogs.
Bigelow is actively involved with the Comox Valley Road Runners – a local running club that covers everything from clinics for beginners, to marathon training.
“There’s a great Thursday night group with the run/walk club that goes through some of the lesser known trails in the community. There really are some incredible runs. Nymph Falls, Trent River, even up in the Cumberland hills.”
Although he doesn’t identify himself as a runner, he has completed 11 marathons and one ultra. He enters the Perseverance Trail Run every year and also competes in MOMAR’s Cumberland event.
“I’ve entered Snow to Surf for many years,” although he said this year he did not get a chance to complete his leg.
“I was in the canoe leg and it got cancelled, so… I would prefer the biking portion, but that leg has been spoken for, by our team leader.”
Biking, running… there’s only one thing missing from a triathlon appearance: swimming.
Bigelow said that’s unlikely.
“Swim-running is a great workout, but I look like a drowning man when I get into the pool. I’ve just never been a swimmer.”
The Road Runners offer a running clinic every new year, that will take people from the couch to completing a 5k run in 10 weeks.
The 2016 clinic starts Jan. 16. Extreme Runners and the Lewis Centre are now accepting registrations.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Fred at 250-890-3288.