It’s a mother-daughter thing

Local duo running Johnny Miles marathon together for the first time

Published on June 12, 2014

Lia Lewis and her mother Dianne White will be running their first Johnny Miles marathon together this weekend. The first marathon they ran together was the Valley Harvest in October.


PLYMOUTH PARK – Dianne White believes if a mother and daughter can survive running a marathon together, they can survive anything.

In October Dianne and her daughter Lia (Lewis) ran their first marathon together, the Valley Harvest Marathon, finishing with a time of 4:16. It was Dianne’s fourth marathon and Lia’s first – they both survived the experience and have grown closer because of it.

“I knew what to expect and she didn’t, so I kept trying to tell her what it was going to be like and how she was going to feel,” said Dianne. “Until you do it – I could tell her everything, but until she went through it herself she would have no idea what it would do to her body.”

This weekend they will run the full marathon at the Johnny Miles Running Event, the first time for Lia and third for Dianne. It will be a special day as Lia’s first run was the Johnny Miles 10k and she ran her first half-marathon here in New Glasgow with her father Peter – now she will run the marathon with her mother.

“It’s going to be really nice,” said Lia. “The feeling to cross the finish line with her will be nice, regardless of the time. We’re just going to see what the day brings.”

Peter was hoping to run the half, but after sustaining an injury will instead be on the sidelines cheering them on with Lia’s husband. Dianne said having friends and family around on race day will be something special, something they didn’t have in October.

“That helps because when we ran in the Valley there was nobody that knew us or that we knew along the route, so it at times got lonely,” she said. “That’s the nicest thing because I’ve run the other ones by myself. I ran Toronto and I was all alone, so it’s really nice to run with somebody and somebody that you’re comfortable with.”

The comfort Dianne describes is something she said is a mother and daughter connection. In the past all her training and marathons were run by herself, but now the pair have at least one training run each week together, something that has brought them closer.

“I think so because you’re working towards a goal together, you talk about it a lot and you plan a lot,” said Lia about running being a bonding experience for them. “As soon as we finished in October it was like ‘OK, when are we going to do another one.’”

That decision to run the Johnny Miles didn’t come until late-March. Lia said she wanted to run it, so she signed up, with Dianne deciding to soon after.

“I was waiting to see what she would feel like after her first because some people say ‘I’ll never do that again’ or they say ‘I can’t wait to do the next one,’” said Dianne. “And I’ve never crossed the finish line with anybody ever before, so that was the first time to cross with somebody, which is really nice.”

Another first time experience for Dianne while running a marathon was not listening to music, her personal choice being CBC Radio. She said they took music with them at the Valley Harvest, but didn’t use it. They will take it again this weekend, but hope they don’t have to use it.

“We took it with us because I always listen to the radio when I run, but we never used it the whole time,” said Dianne. “I found that strange for me because I never run without it, so it was nice that we didn’t need it. You get the whole experience of running without it, which was nice.

“I’ll take it with me again this weekend, so if I start to struggle I can use it to distract me and take my mind off the pain.”

Lia said the pair were communicating on and off through that run and expect this weekend to be similar.

“It was pretty cool. When you’re spending that many hours with somebody, in pain, it’s good to know when to stay quiet and when to encourage,” said Lia. “Mom knows when I’m getting cranky at whatever mile and I can’t talk. And I know when she’s not talking what that means. The silence is as comfortable as the talking is, which is kind of cool because you can’t do that with just anybody.”

“I think that comes from being a mother-daughter,” said Dianne. “I don’t think you can pick that up from anybody else.”

On Twitter: @NGNewsChris