It’s funny how things can fall into place in life. One moment, one event, or one activity can open the door to something you could have never expected or thought possible. And for business professional and hockey mom, Rachael Penner, that is exactly what happened.

As a typical night at the RINK Training Centre goes, youth programming for on-ice skill development was in full swing. Parents can often be seen doing several different things while their kids are on the ice. Some sit in the bleachers, some standby the boards, while others work away on a laptop in the lobby. For Rachael, she wanted to know if she could take advantage of the track that loops the full sheet of the main rink and complete her daily running workouts while her son was on the ice. She wandered into RINK Testify Performance to confirm it was okay, which Off-Ice Program Manager Mike Hellyer, was happy to tell her it was.

"Having so many dynamics to life, it's hard to think of adding in another component. I have kids, I have work, I have family, I have running. How am I going to incorporate a whole new aspect into my training?

Rachael continued to run in the coming weeks on the track. Before long, Mike took notice and invited Rachael into the gym to have a chat about how strength and conditioning training could benefit her running. At first, she began coming once a week with some at home workouts but over time, Rachael turned into a consistent 3 day a week gym goer on top of her weekly running requirements.

Rachael Penner Running

Rachael also has big running goals in mind to keep her motivated during the long winter days in the gym. Her first of many was the Vancouver Marathon in the Spring of 2022. She ran her fastest marathon yet finishing in just over 3 hours, barely missing out on a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon. Heading back to Winnipeg, the annual Manitoba Marathon on Father’s Day saw record temperatures and race officials having to cancel the race. But that didn’t stop, Rachael Penner and numerous other competitors, on finishing their set out goal for the day. To complete the Manitoba Marathon.

Rachael didn’t quit in near 40-degree heat and put forth a 1:50:35 half-marathon with 5:15min/km pace. A true testament to her will and commitment to running. Her next target is the full marathon in Fargo, N.D in the Spring of 2023.

Rachael is on track to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2024.

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