WATERFORD - While the 26th annual News and Sentinel Half Marathon is looming on Saturday, Aug. 18, that doesn't mean Waterford High School teacher Jocelyn Majoy is feeling any pressure about trying to win the Grandmasters division.
For the past three 13.1-mile races, Majoy has settled for runner-up honors in the 50-year-old-plus age group. Last year she was second to Russian Ramilia Burangulova and in 2010 and 2009 she watched Lee Depietro of Ruxton, Md., take the spoils.
Most people who participate in any running event do so for a lot of reasons other than winning and that's also the case for Majoy, who already is signed up for her seventh News and Sentinel Half Marathon.
JIM BUTTA Special to The Times
Waterford High School teacher Jocelyn Majoy will be trying to win the News and Sentinel Half Marathon Grandmasters division title. For the past three years she been the runner-up.
"I used to run before I had kids in college and then I took a break when I had them," said the vocal/music teacher.
"I started running again because my two sons were in track and it always made me kind of want to run again."
Another aspect a lot of runners and walkers enjoy, aside from participating in the sport they love, comes from the fact it gives them a chance to meet new people and build camaraderie. That's something Majoy has found fulfilling since returning to the sport.
"I have to give Leslie Thomas credit," said Majoy, who started running again after Thomas' suggestion by joining the River City Walkers and Runners Club's Monday evening training group.
"Always being home in the summer, running was a social thing and I did it to see people and it's great. We love the people. The social part is really nice."
Two of the many runners Majoy has come to know and enjoys competing against are fellow Grandmasters Mariann Tullus of Wexford, Pa., and Kitty Consolo of Granville, Ohio. Just last month, the trio competed at the J. Cecil Jarvis Greater Clarksburg 10K, where Majoy won the Grandmasters title with a clocking of 43 minutes and 2 seconds.
"We all talk and get along real well," Majoy added while noting she also is friends with Depietro. "If she (Depietro) is there (at this year's half marathon) I don't know if I will be able to keep up with her.
"(Having good competition) makes us all run a better race and we all enjoy it, especially when you are older and you just try to do what you can."
As far as Majoy is concerned, "the plan is to be competitive until I'm 60. Then I'll find out there are people who are 60 and they are doing really well and then I'll push on ahead."
Even though the half marathon is still about a month and a half away, Majoy has been training hard and as always is ready to give it her best come race day.
"I can't get upset if it's a bad day," she said. "I just always want to do my personal best and if I do better than someone else that's fine. It's what I do for myself to improve.
"I always have a goal for my half marathon. I've almost reached it, but I haven't and I don't want to jinx myself and say what it is. If I've done everything right and I come up a little short of my goal I am satisfied with that. There are goals that I have not reached yet that I'm working toward."