How running changed Shane Dixon’s life

“When I was trapped in the sales world and ventured on this quest for happiness, I told myself I was never going to be stuck for years in one spot,” Shane Dixon explains. As Shane puts together the building blocks for his first marathon at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, the thing that drives him and has made running such a fulfilling pursuit.

Since he started taking running seriously a little over five years ago, change has been a constant both in a personal sense and in all the accompanying experiences. For Shane, running has always meant new people, a new career, a new sense of confidence and level of fitness, and new distances.

There was some family influence as well. Shane’s father and brother are both avid runners, the latter being an experienced marathoner. In fact, Shane and his brother have a tradition of running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon together, with Shane usually running one of the shorter distances while his brother tackled the full. This year, they swap places.

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Running continues to test my physical & mental limits. It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, I could barely do 5KM’s…and, today, I completed 26KM’s for the second time in my life! That being said, I have a confession to make: For the first time in my training, I’m a bit scared about what I’ve gotten myself into. Actually…i’m more terrified then anything! 😱 Why? I’ve completed 26KM’s just twice in my life….and, each time, it was a struggle to finish! And…the negative thoughts start to creep into my mind. If it’s a challenge just to do this distance….how am I going to survive an additional 16K on top of that!?! 🤦🏻‍♂️🤯 Despite this fear, there are 3 things that keep me moving forward: 1) I still have a few weeks until race day, so no need to panic. 2) I have a solid training plan thanks to my Coach @psgilpin! 3) I know I can do this. I’ve raced 5 KM’s, 10 KM’s, &, Halfs….I can do this too! 💪🏻 As for today, I’m just going to head home, & be content with the fact that I did this long run! I also just need to remind myself that these runs are all building blocks to my biggest running goal to date, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon! 👊🏻 When it’s all over, everything will be OK! I’m grateful to my friends at @oasiscanada for having my back during my training the past few months! 🙏🏻❤️ Hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend! #shaneruns #RunWithOasis #Collab #marathontraining #irun #everybodyrun

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“There are a few things that have helped me along the way,” Shane says, “but my story is no different from most people. I was in IT sales and was miserable and picking up a lot of bad habits, including drinking just to numb my mind.”

When Shane moved to Toronto from Calgary in 2015, he found that, “a lot of my friends were becoming adults, getting married and having babies and whatnot.” As he was looking for a way to make connections, he stumbled across RunTOBeer.

“The thing that really got me hooked on running was having a group. I’m loyal to RunToBeer, but I have run with other clubs and have made lifelong friends along the way.”

At his very first RunTOBeer event, Shane remembers his friend Leanne, who he hadn’t yet met, inviting him to join. “It’s tough to meet new people and that was one thing I didn’t expect out of running,” Shane says. “I honestly don’t think I’ve met any jerks.”

“I was scared to run my first 5K, 10K, and half, but one of the biggest things running has done is build my confidence,” Shane says of his evolution. He adds, “One thing that a lot of people mention is that I as always a party guy. I would get called “Frank the Tank” after Will Ferrel’s character in the movie Old School.”

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Happy Friday everyone! 🎉 How was your week? Did anything amazing happen on your end? Mine was pretty good as I had a solid turnout at my 20 Minute Challenge event on Wednesday, and, I had a much-needed relaxing day off yesterday! My training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon continues to go very well. After a rough outing on Wednesday, I felt much better today with a 6 KM run-commute from the downtown core to the Beaches. Special thanks, once again, to @oasiscanada for not only supporting my training efforts, but, for also sending me a surprise package this week with some sweet Lululemon clothing, including this cool shirt! It’s still early in the process, however, I’m really pumped to see what’s in store for me next in the weeks ahead! I’m back to work this weekend, but, I’m excited for my long on Sunday! Have an awesome, and, safe, weekend of running! #shaneruns #RunWithOasis #collab #itsyourmoment #irun #marathontraining

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Now, Shane chooses to channel his friendly and outgoing nature to welcome others into the running community. Shane remains a fixture at RunToBeer group runs, the group that first got him hooked, and makes a point to introduce himself to new faces, never forgetting how intimidating your first group run can be.

Shane has also combined his experience in sales and his love of welcoming people into the running community to his career, taking on a role as a manager with the Running Room. “I started in Liberty Village and eventually jumped over to the Beaches. It keeps me in the running world doing something I love and helping others get hooked on running too.” Shane recently joined another outdoor sports retailer in Toronto, Enduro Sport, as its running and community lead.

“I like sharing my story, but without sugarcoating how tough it’s been,” Shane says. His training has meant balancing the demands of his career and cardiomyopathy, a condition which makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood to the body. Shane knows that his path to the marathon includes obstacles, but says, “I always hope that someone is watching and can be inspired.”

Follow Shane’s journey on Instagram @ShaneRuns0630.