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Jen Cooper

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Jen Cooper

Jen Cooper is nearing the end of a maternity leave and wants to focus on fitness not only to get in better shape but to be a better mom to her three-year-old son and 11-month-old daughter. Gearing up for the run is just the motivation she needs.

Age: 35.

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Occupation: marketing and communications at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies.

Last race: Sporting Life 10K in 2005.

Reason for running: "I need to set a goal to motivate myself to get back in to exercising."

Goal: Having finished her last 10K run in 53 minutes, Ms. Cooper hopes to complete this run in less than 55 minutes. "I think that's a pretty realistic goal."

Biggest challenge: "Finding the time, and putting myself first. That's not something that comes naturally, especially when you have two kids."

Jean Choi

Like many moms, Jean Choi took a break from running when she had kids. But the mother of two children, aged 6 and 3, returned to pounding pavement about a year ago. Running the Sporting Life 10K later this year is the next step toward a long-held goal of running one of the biggest marathons in the world.

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Age: 41

Occupation: psychology professor at Humber College.

Last race: Toronto Island Run, a 10K race, in September, 2009.

Reason for running: The race will help Ms. Choi gear up for running one of the most prestigious marathons in North America, something she has dreamed of for years. "The personal goal was to run the Boston by the time I'm 50. It was 40, but that's come and gone," she says.

Goal: Ms. Choi hopes to finish the race in 40 to 47 minutes.

Biggest challenge: "staying injury-free."

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Sherry Lang-Laveau and François Laveau

This is the first official run for Sherry Lang-Laveau. Her husband, François Laveau, was initially only going to provide moral support, but he too is now hooked on running the race.

Age: She is 57; he is 55.

Occupation: She is retired; he works in sales at Air Canada.

Last race: This is Ms. Lang-Laveau's first race. Mr. Laveau hasn't participated in a run in about two decades.

Reason for running: "It's something I've always wanted to do," Ms. Lang-Laveau says. "I keep looking at people running, you see all different age groups, all different sizes of people, and I think, gosh, if they can do it, why can't I do it?" Mr. Laveau discovered a new love for the sport at a recent tune-up run.

Goal: to run the entire distance. "I really don't want to be right with the walkers," Ms. Lang-Laveau says.

Biggest challenge: winning the battle of the nerves. Staying focused while surrounded by thousands of fellow runners on race day will not be easy, Ms. Lang-Laveau predicts.

Canada Running Series 2010

  • Sun Mar. 7 in Vancouver: Harry's Spring Run-Off 8K to fight Prostate Cancer presented by HSBC Canada
  • Sat Apr 3 in Toronto: Harry's Spring Run-Off 8K & 5K to fight Prostate Cancer presented by HSBC Canada
  • Sun Apr 18 in Montreal: Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal et 5k présenté par ASICS
  • Sun May 2 in Toronto: Sporting Life 10k
  • Sun Jun 27 in Vancouver: Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk presented by Asics
  • Sun Jul 11 in Toronto: Acura Toronto 10-Miler & 5K at The Distillery
  • Sun Jul 25 in Toronto: The Beaches Jazz Tune-Up 20k, 10k and 5k Training Run & Walk
  • Sun Sep 26 in Toronto: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k (STWM)
  • Sat Oct 16 in Toronto: Oasis ZooRun 10k Run, 5k Run/Walk & Cub Run

<iframe src="" scrolling="no" height="650px" width="600px" frameBorder ="0" allowTransparency="true" ><a href="" >Jenny Hadfield takes your running questions</a></iframe>

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More

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