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Ever wonder what a runner who won a bronze medal at the 2015 Pan-Am Games, a gold for NB at the 2013 Canada Summer Games and recently set the Canadian record in the 3000m steeplechase at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games does in her free time? Oh you know, works on her Masters of Arts in Geography. Who is this superhuman you ask? Olympic runner Gen Lalonde of course. We reached out to Gen to learn more about her hometown of Moncton, NB and her favourite places to go in between training and studying in the interview below…
Gen, what do you love most about Moncton?
The people. They create a beautiful diversity of cultures that add a vibrant colour to the Maritimes. It truly is the Hub City!
What are your favourite things to do in Moncton?
I do enjoy running up and down the river trails, cross-country skiing in Centennial park, going to the Saturday Markets, and just attending all of the events going on in the city. There is always something going on in Moncton.
Nice. Where do you tend to eat out in Moncton?
There are so many great places to eat, so it’s hard to choose a favorite. Walking up and down Main Street you are bound to find something that suits your cravings…and I have lots – especially after a run! Tide and Boar, Osakahi Bachi, Taj Mahal.
How about a night on the town or an adventure outside the city?
My favourite places to go out are the Bay of Fundy and jumping off the Pointe du Chêne Warf in the summer with family and friends. In the winter I love to go out on the frozen ocean of the Shediac Bay.
Do you have any activities or adventures that remind you of home?
Anytime I smell the ocean or taste seafood, I am instantly transported back home.
What is it about your Moncton that makes it distinct from other cities in Canada?
It’s the only official bilingual city. As a result, you get a perfect mosaic of Francophone and Anglophone pace at all time. If you are looking for good times in a relaxing maritime city it is definitely the place to go.
Who was your hometown hero growing up and why?
So many great people from Moncton have helped me become the person I am. They are all my heroes and have helped shape my story.
What is it about your hometown that inspires you?
The people are resilient, strong, and honestly just wonderful human beings. Not only are they friendly, but they work together to achieve a better life for everyone. They have been so supportive of me during my running career and I could not be more proud to be from Moncton.
How did your Moncton influence who you have become?
In so many ways, being a young girl in Moncton I was exposed to every type of activity. I was able to try every sport, art, and passion that I had. All of these experiences have helped me develop not just skills on the track but as a person.
I love people most. They create a beautiful diversity of cultures that add a vibrant colour to the Maritimes.
I’m sure you’ve travelled a lot within Canada via athletics. What city or town in Canada is your favourite, and why?
I certainly have! I train in Guelph, Ontario right now. It’s a wonderful place to live with a relaxing environment perfect while simultaneously being a hub of high-performance training. My heart also lies with Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories where I am currently completing my masters research. If anyone has a chance to visit either the Arctic or the Maritimes, they should definitely go. The landscapes are unlike anywhere else in the world, and the people are even more beautiful.
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