Deer Park runner’s recovery pays off with 10K win

Tamara Jewett overcomes plantar fascia tear to finish first in the women’s category

TRAINING TO WIN: Runner Tamara Jewett integrated triathlon training — swimming and cycling — into her routine to overcome a plantar fascia tear, and ended up winning the Sporting Life 10K on May 13.

There’s a sense of relief in Tamara Jewett’s breathing as she retells the past year of training for the Sporting Life 10K she ran on May 13.

The 28-year-old law school graduate sits on the bench at a familiar place, University of Toronto’s athletic centre at Spadina Avenue and Harbord Street. She’s been training to overcome a plantar fascia tear and certainly stepped out of her comfort zone to do so.

“I couldn’t run for a year and a half, so things were looking pretty bleak this time last year,” she admitted with a sheepish grin. “I started doing a lot of swim and bike training with a triathlon coach.

“It’s been a different journey with my running,” she added. “I was a track athlete but I’ve been training for a triathlon and gradually re-introducing the running in October.”

She finished the race first in the women’s category with an official time of 33:04.8. She finished 14th overall, only three seconds behind the winner, Wendimu Adamu. Clearly, the swimming and cycling helped her gradually get back on her feet again.

Although, she could have done without the 13-minute delay at the start of the day. But thanks to her fellow competitors at the starting line, the mood was lightened with laughter at the slow start.

“I was feeling pretty frustrated because of the delay,” Jewett said. “I was pretty nervous for the race and I wanted to get going. They let us do some extra strides, which I appreciated.”

She was happy to see her cheer team at the finish line: boyfriend Chris McKinnon, who competes as a triathlete, as well as her sister Rachel and her boyfriend.

“It felt really good. It was also a personal best for me on that course. I felt the day went the best-case scenario for me. The women in the Top 5 I knew would be good competition,” she said. “I knew I was in good shape to run well.”

Jewett has been running since she was 12. During her high school years at St. Clement’s she started to get more serious. Eventually, during her undergrad years, she ran with the University of Toronto’s varsity team.

Overcoming obstacles is part of her curriculum vitae. That might come in handy with her next step in her career. She’ll be articling with Torys LLP in August.

Jewett’s not finished with just the Sporting Life 10K. She’ll also run in the Toronto Women’s 10K in August, as well as several triathlons.

Her most recent win has given her that extra breath to cross another finish line.

“It was that extra oomph to be back at running,” she said.

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