10 January 2014

on the run ... with jim willett

welcome to the second interview in the on the run series ...

jim willett is a life-long athlete and fitness enthusiast, having worked as a personal trainer/coach since 1997.  however, in 2010 at the age of 36 he unwelcomingly added a new title to his résumé:  cancer warrior.  the challenge was colon cancer, and since overcoming that obstacle he has set his mind and sights on tackling some of the world's most daunting races.  most recently he completed the kalahari augrabies extreme marathon, a self-sufficiency run held over six legs in seven days with set distances for each day, ranging from 28km to 75km.

even as he looks to tackle an ultramarathon on every continent, jim continues to inspire runners in local communities, leading running groups and seminars through MEC.

. . . . .

1.  If there’s something that I’ve discovered about extreme/adventure ultrarunners it’s that:

(a) We’re not superhuman, just gritty
(b) Ok, we’re a little more superhuman that the general population
(c) Sometimes we haven’t quit when we actually should have
(d) We’re all running from something – just longer and harder than most
(e) You haven’t seen the planet like we have

JW:  I think I'd have to add an ”F” to the choices that said "We all have an inherent, primal drive to explore and connect.  Sometimes you just need the courage to act."

2.   The best thing about having had cancer is: 

(a) There is no best thing about having cancer 
(b) Being able to empathize with and support other fighters, like my mom 
(c) Telling my story and having the opportunity to inspire others to really live 
(d) Losing my inhibitions about going shirtless because I have a gnarly scar 
(e) Finding out what great people I have in my life 

JW:  I'd say "B" & "C" are most applicable.

3.   You’ve been invited to run the ultramarathon in Antarctica this year. The lure of this race is: 

(a) Checking off another continent from the running bucket list 
(b) Finding out if you’re better suited to extreme cold than extreme heat 
(c) Knowing that running through Canadian winters has already prepared you 
(d) Adding to your gallery of extreme photographs
(e) None of the above / Other 

JW:  "E” - the extreme environment, and the possibility of seeing one of the most pristine and untouched parts of the world.

4.   The biggest piece of advice that I’d give to someone who wants to get serious about running: 

(a) Focus on what’s going on between the ears 
(b) Get into the right kind of shoes for you 
(c) It all starts with nutrition 
(d) Work out a plan and stick with it 
(e) Connect with a group who you can contribute to and learn from

JW:  I think they're all right.  But it's gotta start with yourself ... so “A”.

*** for more on jim's journey to inspire the world, visit http://www.runjimmirun.blogspot.ca/.



  1. Hello. Wanted to wish you a good day at your race tomorrow. I put your name down for Rafflecopter.

  2. Wow, what a great story...to fight cancer and then accomplish everything that Jim has done is incredible. Way to beat the disease and not let it slow you down. And Antarctica??? Amazing...