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'I've always enjoyed running'

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
This time, Bibbi Alfredsson will be there to heed the starter's call.


And the prospect of running 21 kilometres to the finish line? That has the wife of Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson enthused most of all.

"I'm excited, I really am," Bibbi Alfredsson said about Sunday's Ottawa Half Marathon, which is part of the annual Ottawa Race Weekend that will attract thousands of runners to the nation's capital.

It might be suggested that this is a moment that has been five years in the making. But after training for the same race back in 2004, she never made it to the start line.

"I trained for one but we ended up not staying," she said. "Once the guys got done (in the 2003-04 playoffs), we were we eager to get home (to Sweden, where Bibbi and Daniel married later that summer)."

The half-marathon itch began to return earlier this year. When she learned that neighbour Teresa Donovan, the wife of Senators forward Shean, had signed up for Sunday's race, Alfredsson jumped on board herself (Janelle Forest, the girlfriend of Sens forward Nick Foligno, is also entered).

"A 10K, I've done that before," said the 34-year-old Alfredsson, a mother of three. "It's not a challenge for me – well, it is (to achieve) a time – but I wanted to do something a little bit longer. It became a goal and something to train for."

The two wives became fast training partners.

"You're going to have those days when you don't want to do it," Alfredsson said of having a training mate so close by. "It's someone to push you every now and then. And when you're doing (the race), it's nice to have someone go with you and share it with you."

That someone during training runs hasn't ever been her husband, one of the National Hockey League's elite players.

"I'm a little bit competitive but he's very competitive," she said. "He's just on a different level. I think he'd be able to do (a half marathon) with no training. He's very strong willed. I think he could do it on pure will."

Since the end of February, Bibbi Alfredsson's training regimen has included three 'short' runs (five to seven kilometres) during the week and a longer one on the weekend (10 to 16.5 km). She's feels ready for the real deal on Sunday.

"I feel like I'm excited about it. I want to do it," said Alfredsson. "I have no idea what time I'll be doing it in, but I know in my head where I want to be."

Count on her enjoying every step of it. Running, you see, is a special passion of hers.

"I think I'll just be very happy. You work toward something and you achieve it. Competing is always good, even if it's just to do it. Whether it's for a time or whatever your goal is, it just feels good to accomplish that." - Bibbi Alfredsson
"I've always enjoying running," said Alfredsson. "You go out and you clear your head. But I've never been a long-distance runner. Everything I've done before is under 10K."

Needless to say, finishing a half marathon will provide a moment of great satisfaction for her.

"I think I'll just be very happy," said Alfredsson. "You work toward something and you achieve it. Competing is always good, even if it's just to do it. Whether it's for a time or whatever your goal is, it just feels good to accomplish that."

And if Sunday's race goes well, would she consider a full marathon someday?

"I've never thought about it. That seems really far," said Alfredsson. "But I never want to say never. If I do a few halfs, then maybe it would be something to try."


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