Shelley Doucet: Breaking Running Records on the Road and Trail

October 03, 2016

Shelley Doucet, of Quispamsis NB, is a mother of two and Professor in Nursing. After completing her PhD in 2010, she joined the University of New Brunswick where she now holds the Jarislowsky Research Chair in Interprofessional Patient-Centred Care. In 2013, Shelley and her husband were busy with two young children and demanding jobs and discovered they could save half the time if they took their dogs running each day instead of their normal walk. In addition to the time saved, Shelley discovered her love for the sport and shortly after ran her first race and became hooked. In her first year of racing, Shelley won 13 races and had the best women’s time in NB for the 5km, 10km, 10 mile, and half marathon distances. In her only attempt at the 10 mile distance, she broke the NB record by almost 6 minutes. She also broke 10 course records in 2014, most by several minutes.
In 2015, Shelley had four solid months of racing sandwiched between two unfortunate injury setbacks. Despite this, she won multiple provincial titles, broke provincial records, set course records in all but one race, and had the fastest 5km, 5 mile, 10km, 10 mile, 15km, half marathon, and marathon times for the year. The highlight of Shelley’s 2015 season was running a 2:50:51 marathon in Sugarloaf, Maine not long after returning from not running all winter due to injury. She won the female title of the Sugarloaf Marathon by 20 minutes and finished 6th overall by performing a 2 minute negative split (1:24 second half). This ended up being the fastest marathon time in Atlantic Canada for women and one of the top times in the country for 2015. Shelley was named the NB runner of the year in 2014 (shared with Paula Keating) and again in 2015.  


In 2016, Shelley ran the Boston Marathon with her sister and then decided she needed a change from the road and ventured out on the trails. Despite only starting trail running in June, she won and set a course record in all 6 trail races that she did this year, including outright wins, some by several minutes. The highlight of her year to date has been breaking Patty Blanchard’s half marathon course record at the Demi Marathon de L’Acadie in September, with a time of 1:19:38. The Demi Marathon has been held monthly since 1987 and therefore has been run 347 times. Shelley now holds more than 15 course records on the road and trail.
Shelley’s running has made a mark on the triathlon scene as well. In her first triathlon, she competed in the Hampton Ladies Sprint and came in first place among almost 200 women, largely because of her fast run. In her second triathlon, she took on the challenge of a half ironman and came in 3rd place overall and first in her age group (among the non pro), which ranked her ahead of all other NB female competitors.
When not racing or training, Shelley is a professional health advocate, an active member of the Run NB Board, Atlantic Director of the Association of Canadian Ultramarathoners, and a co-race director for two charity runs that raise money for children living in poverty. She can also be found cheering on fellow runners and lending a hand at races as a volunteer - especially in the children runs. She is coached by one of Canada’s top elite endurance coaches, John Lofranco, and is also a sponsored ambassador for Salomon and River & Trail Outdoor Company.

Shelley is currently training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon taking place on October 16th. Her goal is to better her marathon time and break the NB provincial record, which is 2:47:26.