Chris Matters will run the MRSB Marathon this weekend, but he’s by no means a first-timer
“My fastest marathon to date is 2:54, but as I get older I think, ‘I haven’t run my fastest yet’. There aren’t many sports you can still improve your results at my age.” So says 40 year-old Chris Matters, who will be running the MRSB Marathon for the eighth consecutive year and has no plans of ending this streak anytime soon. President of Llink Corporation and a Principal with both MRSB Consulting Services and MRSB Mergers & Acquisitions, Chris says a demanding work schedule is partly what got him running in the first place.
“When you travel a lot you don’t always have time to look after your health. At the beginning, running was a way to keep fit while on the road. I soon realized that you are happier in all aspects of life and it promotes good sleep and makes you more alive both at home and work.”
When he began running in 2005 Chris was 232 pounds, about 60 pounds over his ideal weight, and was planning for his upcoming wedding, so he had plenty of reasons to get motivated. The Deltaware 5k run was his first official race in 2006 and that same year he signed up for the full marathon in PEI. It was a big challenge, but Chris says he remembers meeting fellow first-timer Edwin Gillis who shared his pace, and his pain, throughout the race. “It’s a good pain. It’s worth it!” says Chris. He and Gillis are friends to this day.
As the saying goes, ‘the shoe fit’, and soon Chris was increasing his time, speed and endurance. Within two years he had lost 62 pounds. His next goal was to compete in the Boston Marathon, for which the PEI Marathon is a qualifier. It took two more years, but Chris got his time down to 3:05, allowing him to register in 2009. He has since run in the 2011 and 2013 Boston Marathons, among others, totalling 16 marathons to date.
Of course, this year brought unexpected tragedy to Boston’s annual event. Luckily, both Chris and his wife Marie-Helen, who was there to give him support during the race, were safely removed from the scene by the time the attacks took place. Even so, Chris says that day had an impact on him. After he returned home and had processed the events in Boston, Chris decided he didn’t want to be an idle observer. Wanting to reach out to the City of Boston and the families affected, on behalf of Llink he donated $500 US to the One Fund Boston fundraising effort that gave the proceeds to families directly affected by the tragedy. “I’ve already signed up for next year, to support the people of Boston and the spirit of the Marathon.”
Now, this traveling man-turned-road racer can’t imagine life without his running shoes. He still finds time to limber up and run up to six times per week, either along Victoria Park’s scenic boardwalk or whichever European city his business travel takes him.
Closer to home, the Prince Edward Island Marathon has always been close to Chris’ heart since that first event. “I’ve never heard anyone be anything but positive. It’s my hometown, so I enjoy taking part with local runners and people I know. It’s also great for your family and friends to be there at the finish line cheering you on.”
We wish Chris and all runners the best of luck as they participate in the 10th anniversary of the Prince Edward Island Marathon this weekend.