That can be taken almost literally for Boyd and Olivia Girouard. The father and daughter from Kaplan have run a combined 19 marathons. And that number is about to increase.
The pair have been in training to run the upcoming Houston Marathon, scheduled for Jan. 15. Part of that training was taking part in the recent Cajun Cup 10K race in Lafayette.
Boyd Girouard, 67, took first place in the male 65-69 age group with a time of 47:15. He finished 120th overall in the male category.
“I’m running out of time in that age group,” he joked.
Olivia Girouard, 39, took fourth place in the competitive 35-39 Female group. Her time of 47:46 was good enough for 19th overall for females.
“It was very competitive,” Olivia Girouard said. “The first-place time was 43:53. The women in that age group are really focused on running.”
The Girouards’ focus on running began many years ago.
“My running career, or should I say “addiction to running, began in 1985,” Boyd Girouard said. “I’d been running on an irregular basis and decided to enter a 5-K run in Lafayette. Regretfully, I finished about last, but I decided I would make it my goal to improve.”
He did just that.
“After running for 15 years and eight marathons later,” Boyd Girouard said, “I qualified for my first Boston Marathon.”
Boyd Girouard, a retired teacher, ran the prestigious race on April 17, 2000. He completed the 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 35 minutes.
“Oh, that was an experience,” Boyd Girouard said. “It’s run on Patriots Day and there’s millions of people along the course. You have just the best runners over there because you have to qualify. And you run the whole race. They don’t let you walk.
“That was a great experience.”
One that Olivia Girouard said she hopes to enjoy one day. Whether she reaches that goal, the three marathons she has run to this point have been life-changing.
“After I ran my first marathon, I wanted to do another one,” she said. “It is a very good experience. A lot of positive things come from running. Your attitude, your confidence and your overall health all improve.
“It’s just transforms you as a person.”
Olivia Girouard, a graduate of Kaplan High School, studied dance at USL and Duke University. She currently teaches dance and said running helps with that passion she has had since a start at dancing at three years old.
“It’s something I can cross train in,” Olivia Girouard said. “Running is just such a positive thing and it makes me want to keep doing more.”
Boyd Girouard said he does not see himself slowing down.
“I am often asked, ‘How long do you plan to run?” he said. “My answer to that is, ‘As long as I enjoy it.’ I have plenty of enthusiasm because of what it does for me. Prior to running, I was concerned about my weight, health and borderline hypertension. After I started running, my diet changed and I became a student of health. I don’t think someone has to be obsessive about running (to be healthy), but I just enjoy what I do.
“It’s fun and I enjoy competing.”
There is a bit of competition between father and daughter.
“We run at the same pace,” Boyd Girouard said. “Sometimes she will pull of ahead of me and sometimes I will pull ahead of her.
“We compete against each other.”
Olivia Girouard said it is all in good fun.
“It’s something we enjoy doing,” she said. “He has always been a big inspiration. When I was young he would take me to races.
“It really helps to have someone to do this with.”
Both Girouards have a common fan, wife and mother, Betty.
“To be where I am today would not be possible without the support of my wife,” Boyd Girouard said of Betty, with whom he traveled to Nova Scotia for one of his 16 marathons.
Olivia Girouard said her mother, also a former teacher, is a strong source of support.
“She goes to every race and is on the side of the course cheering us on,” Girouard said. “Other runners ask us if she is going to be there because she cheers for everyone.”
Boyd and Olivia Girouard are in the stretch run of gearing up for the Houston Marathon in January.
“We are running about 18 miles without stopping,” Boyd Girouard said. “We will probably get up to 22 miles. You don’t want to push yourself too far beyond that.”
There is a great deal of hard work that goes into running a marathon. Really it is simply a matter of fun.
“We really enjoy it,” Olivia Girouard. “It’s something that we enjoy doing.”
Read more: VermilionToday.com - Girouards have combined for 19 marathons