Profile of Lorraine Palmer-Smith

Photo of Lorraine and Abbey


Lorraine Palmer-Smith, 63, makes another interesting and welcome addition to our portfolio of runner profiles.

Lorraine came to running relatively late but has always been very active. As she says, she intends to keep moving one way or another.

Lorraine’s is a running family. Husband Rod is a keen and talented runner and daughters Abbey and  Maddy also like to keep active. (Abbey, currently Lorraine’s running partner, is pictured with Lorraine in the photo above.)

Lorraine tells how she came back to running after a 5 year hiatus by participating in a BRRC Learn to Run program. This program was organized and led in 2018 by the then club president, Rhonda McNish.

Lorraine in turn coached a couple of walking friends to be able to run a 5K. This culminated in their participating in one of our club’s Canada Day races.

Lorraine’s full story below is indeed a warm and engrossing one.


Where are you from originally and what brought you to this area?

I was born and raised in St. Catharines and came to Brockville in 1980 to teach at B.C.I. until there were jobs available in the Niagara Region. The rest is history!!!

How long have you been running?

I began running at the age of 40 when my daughters were 5 and 2. My husband, Rod, kindly agreed to allow me time in the morning to run while he got Maddy and Abbey ready for school/daycare. Monday to Friday I would meet a friend at 6 am at BCI for our 5 km run. I would drive from Greenbush and she would drive from Maitland. Knowing someone was waiting for you, rain or shine, snow or sleet, was motivation enough to get up and get going! This was pre cell phones, of course!!!

Do you run for fun or competitively?

I absolutely run for fun, but it’s difficult not to be competitive. With myself, that is. Running serves many purposes for me, mostly weight management. I can eat and drink what I like when I’m running! Without guilt, that is. I love running with a partner and catching up on each other’s lives. I also enjoy running alone, never with music, but with my own thoughts. Many problems of the world have been solved on my runs. ; )

Why do you run?

Yikes! See my previous answer. I jumped the gun.

Recent memorable running moment? Not necessarily in a race.

I had the pleasure of coaching two dear friends to run a 5km. They had walked together each weekday morning for many years and were convinced they would never be able to run, certainly not 5 km. With some encouragement and support and a walk to run app, together we prepared to enter a 5 km race. They were in fact able to run 5km, in the pouring rain no less, at a BRRC race on Canada Day! And they have the shirts to prove it. A proud moment for everyone.

Best running achievement?

Finally completing a Freeze Your Buns series this year!!!

Greatest running disappointment ?

When I am healing and unable to run.

What is your favorite race distance? Why?

I have only ever run in 5 km races.

A notable race moment or most memorable race?

I ran in the Run for the Grapes as part of the Grape and Wine Festival in St. Catharines early in my running career. It was fun to run a race in a new venue. I ran by myself and just “went out for a run”!

Why did you join BRRC?

I joined the BRRC following a Learn to Run program that Rhonda McNish held in 2018. It was a very encouraging and non-threatening program as I was getting back to running after a 5 year hiatus. Since then I have entered many of the BRRC races with family and friends. It has become a very social time for us.

Ever been injured? How did it happen?

I twisted my ankle one morning during a solo run before school. I have also suffered from plantar fasciitis. I am currently healing from sciatica and a chronic hip ailment. I look forward to getting back on the roads again soon.

What is your favorite race?

I am a cold weather runner and love the Freeze Your Buns series, as long as there is no ice in sight!!!

What does your daily or weekly workout consist of?

Prior to my current situation, I was running 5 km 3 times a week. I also practice yoga. In the summer, I am fortunate to be able to add swimming to my fitness activities.

Additional input or comments?

My husband is an avid runner. Although we do not run together, I am much too slow for him, it is an activity that we both share and can talk about; currently those conversations seem to revolve around injuries. My two daughters are also very active, one of whom is my current running partner.

Although I joined the running community late in life, I have always been very active, mostly in the field of dance. I trained in ballet and other forms of dance from a young age which has now grown into my involvement in community theatre. I hope to keep moving, one way or another!!! This was a great questionnaire. Thank you for including me as one of the participants. It is an honour to have been selected and if I inspire one person to get off the couch and enjoy the beautiful outdoors by taking up running, I would be thrilled!!!

Thanks Lorraine for your participation. (TonyD; August 2021)