Who is Bradley on the Run?

Posted: November 18, 2015 in My Story
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A HUGE welcome to new readers who are arriving at my blog on my ‘spotlight day’ via the awesome blog hop hosted by Kristy at Runaway Bridal Planner! I am extremely appreciative of Kristy, and her commitment to running the blog hop, which clearly takes a lot of time and energy. Due to my participation in Kristy’s blog hop back in February of this year, my blog and social media presence have grown more than I had ever imagined, and I’m really grateful!

To those of you who are regular readers – thank you for visiting again, and for your ongoing support!

Over the past few months, many most of my blog posts have been race recaps – it’s been quite a running season! Today, I’m just going to share a bit about Bradley on the Run!

Why is your Twitter handle @bjcjapan?

A legacy from the 6 years I spent in Japan, this was my original email address. It’s funny how a moment in time can be captured in 8 letters and stick around for so long! Japan holds a special place in my heart, and I was so excited to visit again last December and run in Kyoto for the very first time. I plan to hang onto that Twitter handle – you’ll always know where to find me!

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Running along the Kamo River in Kyoto

So, do you speak Japanese?

I do, in fact, know enough Japanese to hold my own in a conversation.

How/When/Why did you start running?

This is probably one of the most common questions I hear from folks when I mention running. I’ve written in some detail about my inspiration to start running, but here’s the short and sweet version:

In the early days of 2009, after some wine and a viewing of ‘Run Fatboy Run‘, I signed up for the BMO Vancouver 8K. I had never run a step in my life, considering myself ‘the antithesis of an athlete’. I always hated sports, and was extremely self-conscious about my lack of athletic skills.

But something about it clicked, and my passion for running has continued to grow! And living in beautiful Vancouver, BC – where year-round running is 100% doable – certainly doesn’t hurt!

What’s up with the #WestVanRun?

I participated in the 2014 West Van Run 10K and loved it. I achieved a PB – my first ever 10K run in under 50 minutes. This race was my inspiration to start blogging as Bradley on the Run – and the topic of my very first race report! When I ran the 2015 West Van Run, I achieved another PB which still stands at time of writing!

Earlier this year, I was invited by the West Van Run’s Race Director, Kirill, to become a #WestVanRun 2016 ambassador! It has been a heck of a lot of fun, and an honour, to represent the West Van Run – I’ve made some awesome new friends and enjoy the experience immensely. The West Van Run will be held on March 5 and 6, 2016 (5km on Saturday, 10km on Sunday) – use ‘bradley’ as your 15% discount code!

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Why is 2015 the #yearofthehalf?

Last year, I ran my first full marathon – the BMO Vancouver Marathon. Originally, the Honolulu Marathon was my target first marathon, but I somehow persuaded myself to do a ‘trial run’ earlier in the year. My theme for 2014 was #42for42 – running 42 kilometres (well, 42.2km, to be exact) in the year I turned 42. Achieved!

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Back in January of this year, I started working out my race calendar for 2015 and shared some of my race plans on Twitter. #yearofthehalf was actually coined by @THESFMARATHON in response, and I adopted it as my 2015 theme.

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By February, I had committed to running the San Francisco First Half – and by the end of this year will have completed 12 half marathons in 2015! The final one – the Laughlin/Bullhead Half Marathon in December – will be my birthday present!!

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Hey, I heard you did a podcast?

Yes! Back in March, I had the honour of being asked to record an episode of Miles Not Included. It was a great experience, and gave me a chance to talk a bit more about my running experiences. Should you be so inclined, you can hear the episode here. Regretfully, Miles Not Included is no longer producing their podcast, which is a shame – but life got in the way, as it sometimes does.

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You seem to wear a lot of orange – what’s that all about?

There was a bit of a ‘running joke’ (pun absolutely intended) about my orange cap, and that fact that people could easily spot me in the crowd during a race. That’s how @debrakato found me at this year’s First Half Half Marathon!

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Then, back in April, I applied to become an ambassador for BibRave – a website where you can review races online. As it happens, BibRave’s theme colour is orange – and I’m now a proud #BibRavePro! This has provided the opportunity to get some free running swag, to connect with other BibRavePros, and to get a free entry to the Platte River Half Marathon (10% discount code: ‘bibrave10’) next April in Denver, Colorado. I’ve just been accepted to represent BibRave for another year, and I’m really excited!

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Orange is my favourite colour!

What’s next for Bradley on the Run?

I’m going to continue working on my blog, doing my best to keep it fresh and authentic. I love sharing my running experiences, and reflecting back on what has happened over the past 2 years. I’ve got a few plans for 2016 – but I’ll save those for another day!

Hope you enjoyed learning a bit about me!
Anything I’ve missed? Or have I told you more than you want to know?

Comments
  1. Pascal says:

    Hi Bradley ,
    nice to read about your Running adventures .
    Now i know who my last follower on twitter is ;).
    Greetings from germany
    Pascal recently posted…New things to testMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks, Pascal! This past year especially has been an adventure! So glad to meet you, and have some geographical variety – yay for Europe!

  2. Christy says:

    What a really interesting story! Congrats on your successes and I love the orange story. It must make it super easy for your loved ones to find you!
    Christy recently posted…Philly is Our Kind of Town, Kid Friendly and YUMMY!My Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks for dropping by, Christy. Glad you enjoyed the stories. I had a great experience at one race where total stranger were cheering for me because they recognized my orange hat at different points along the course. Such fun!

  3. Marcia says:

    Orange is my lucky running color! Good mojo for sure! I’ve been a lot of places but Japan is not one. How cool to spend time there. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities and I was so bummed to miss RnRVan this year. Wow you’ve had a very busy 2015! Here’s to an equally great 2016!
    Marcia recently posted…Rock n Roll Half Marathon Race ReportMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Orange rocks, right? It actually was my mom’s favourite colour, too, but I didn’t appreciate it as much as I do now that it’s my running theme colour!
      Japan was a great place to live, and I always enjoy going back for a visit. If you can ever make it, you should absolutely go!
      If you make it to RnRVan in 2016, let me know! Love connecting with blogging/social media friends in person!

  4. Wow! You are quite the runner!! And Japanese–so cool!
    Kristen @ A Mind Full Mom recently posted…Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad with ApplesMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks Kristen. Somehow I’ve ‘become a runner’ in the past few years. Crazy! Japan itself is very cool, and I love that I can communicate with the people there.

  5. Great to connect with you more in the blog hop! Looks like you really took to running quickly. I love doing races and runs on my birthday too. Good luck with you half in a few weeks and happy early birthday.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Birthday Week Races & Runs RecapMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Deborah, it’s a pleasure to connect with you! I guess I moved along with running to make up for lost time! Haha. Usually I don’t have a lot of birthday run options, so I’m really excited about this one (plus it’s an inaugural race AND the race director invited me, so yay!) – thank so much!

  6. Bradley, you are the man! Right on and super congrats on all the running and goal setting. I do follow you, and I am impressed. I had to back out of a half in October and this weekend’s Berkeley Half due to health and I am so so bummed out. Looking for motivation in 2016 and finding it here on your blog is a great place to start. 🙂
    Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry recently posted…Holiday Shopping Gift Giving GuideMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks so much, Lynda! Sorry to hear you had to back out of a race – a DNS is never a fun thing. I am totally flattered that you consider my blog to be a source of inspiration. That means a lot to me. Look forward to hearing about your 2016 plans!

  7. Wow, 12 half marathons this year?!? What an incredible accomplishment! How many are you hoping to run in 2016?
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Looking Ahead to 2016My Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks, Kathryn! Yes, 12 is a lot! Because I’ve done a bunch of distances, I’ll be over 20 races for 2015! I’ve signed up for 3 halfs already in 2016, but we’ll see what happens. I’m hoping for the odd free entry along the way if I can get them! Appreciate you dropping by!

  8. Runwright says:

    It’s so cool to connect with male runners on here. Your demographic is so underrepresented, Bradley.
    Love the Twitter handle. Love the reference to Run Fatboy Run (I loved that movie and it’s such a great running inspiration). Those are random but very interesting tidbits.
    I look forward to sharing more of your adventures on here.
    http://runwright.net
    Runwright recently posted…Love Is All We NeedMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks so much, Karen! I have noticed that there aren’t an awful lot of guys blogging about running – especially in this hop! Haha. I appreciate the shout out!
      A lot of people have never heard of ‘Run Fatboy Run’, but it’s an awesome movie! I think it’s almost time for a rewatch (honestly, I haven’t seen it again since I started running!)

  9. Wow! 12 half marathons in one year! That’s amazing!! I am aiming to do my first next fall! Here’s hoping! How was Hawaii? I’ve been to the Big Island twice (my grandmother lives there in the winters) and am in love with it! I would move there in a heart-beat if it wasn’t so far from my family! I look forward to learning more about your training philosophy and maybe adopting some of it into my own training!

    • bjcjapan says:

      Hi Rachael! Which half are you doing next year? It will be such an awesome experience for you!
      Hawaii was amazing! My bucket list goal is to run a race (ideally full marathon, but maybe half) on every one of the islands! I’ve only been that one time to Oahu, so I need to get working on that!
      I’m not sure if my training ‘philosophy’ is something worth emulating, but glad if I can provide some inspiration!

  10. Megan says:

    Yes, I absolutely have enjoyed learning more about you. What a fun story, told in a fun way! You have achieved a lot in a fairly short time running, I love that!
    Love from the fellow Canadian,
    Meg x
    Megan recently posted…Comfortably Hiding The Ego Behind Locked DoorsMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Hi Meg! Thanks so much for your encouraging words! It’s been a busy year, but I’m really happy with what I’ve accomplished. And yay Canada!!

  11. Hi again! I am a Florida Gator so I am pretty fond of orange myself!!! I ran 3 half’s this year and I am pretty excited about that. I always wondered about your twitter handle and now I know! 🙂
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…To Simply CherishMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Hey Mary Beth with the awesome purple shirt – that’s my next favourite colour after orange! 3 halfs is a great accomplishment…which did you enjoy the most?

  12. Diane says:

    Wonderful getting to know you better! Yes, Kristy has done an amazing job with this blog hop. I am grateful to have been able to participate as well. Good for you and all your running and so many travel runs! I think that is the coolest type of vacation. Running a race AND exploring a new city/area all in one trip. I look forward to seeing your River Race review. We were just in Laughlin for a little river fun a few months back. It’s only a 4 hour drive from here. I hope you enjoy the race and maybe a little gaming if you’re into that kind of thing. Happy running and blogging Bradley!
    Diane recently posted…How to Go the Extra Mile During Your Next Long Distance RunMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks so much Diane! I have really enjoyed the opportunity to combine running and travel, and feel extremely fortunate to be able to do so. I think running is the best way to experience a new city. I’m excited about my upcoming races, and will certainly be reviewing all of them! What was Laughlin like? I was personally invited by the race director, so I couldn’t refuse – plus, birthday race! I will put at least one coin in a slot machine for sure!

  13. I have to tell you, I had always wondered what the Japan meant. That is really cool, and even more cool you can actually hold a conversation in the language.
    And thank you, that makes my day to know the success you found during the original hop back in February, I knew the idea I had when I started these would work because it’s how I built my own blog up (minus the hops) originally. But when I hear success stories like this, it just makes me very happy for you!
    Since I follow you on Facebook I have enjoyed seeing all your races this year, man you have done an awesome amount of them and some pretty great ones to boot, you’ve ran in some gorgeous parts of the world that is for sure!
    I knew you had done a lot, but 12 half’s this year! AWESOME!!!!
    Oh, and good luck in your upcoming birthday present race:) What better gift is there than that, right!!!
    Runaway Bridal Planner recently posted…Who is Runaway Bridal Planner and Do I Really Want to Know Her?My Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Haha – I realized a lot of folks wondered about the Japan thing – so worth an explanation!
      Honestly – since your February blog hop (which was the highest number of views until that point), my views have consistently been higher. Not every month has been amazing, but that is usually due to how many posts I write (or not). Really, though, you’re the reason I was able to grow my blog for sure!
      It’s been quite a race year, and I’m very excited about my birthday race! I’ll keep you posted as things happen! 🙂
      Thanks again!!

  14. Kaitlyn says:

    I LOVE your enthusiasm! Even in all of the pictures you posted, your smile and obvious energy is just absolutely infectious. I also love the color orange and the color yellow for basically the reason that it is just so bright and so exciting. It is almost impossible to be in a bad mood when you are wearing those colors haha. My bedroom used to be yellow for that reason. I always woke up happy – like the sun was smiling at me…. Congrats on all your recent accomplishments! I hope 2016 is amazing for you with whatever all your plans are!
    Kaitlyn recently posted…The Girl Behind The FitnessMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Aw thanks Kaitlyn! It’s funny when people ask me to do a ‘serious’ face or show off my ‘face of pain’ when running. Not that I don’t feel the pain sometimes – but I’m generally pretty happy, especially when running – so I’m usually smiling! I think orange has proved to be my colour of choice for that reason! I look forward to 2016 – and hope yours is equally awesome!

  15. Kim Hatting says:

    Great to (finally) meet you! I have seen you “around” but didn’t make the connection to who you were (duh). Anyways, similar to you, I’ve been running for the past 10 years, and if you would have asked any of my childhood friends (or teachers) if I had any potential to ever become a runner…well, the answer would not have been very encouraging LOL. Total klutz and NO coordination, whatsoever, and minimal (at best) athletic “skills.” Back then, “athletes” were the fast runners, and the ones who could dribble a basketball (at the same time without tripping over their shoes). Fast forward (I won’t disclose how many years), and I’m glad I am where I am 😉 Congrats on your successes, and best wishes for a great finish in your quest for 12 half marathons!
    Kim Hatting recently posted…My Driveway is my CanvasMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Kim, you are truly my kindred spirit when it comes to childhood athleticism! I tried out for the boys volleyball team in grade school, and the coach let me on the team because I was dedicated and he felt sorry for me. I ended up being more of a mascot than a team member! Any ball sports truly reveal my lack of coordination! But something about running just…works for me. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m only competing with myself, and there are no balls to catch! Thanks for your kind words and encouragement!

  16. Sarah says:

    Great looking blog! This is making me wish I knew more about coding ;). I think it’s awesome that you are out there pursuing your goals and running all over the place!
    Sarah recently posted…Sometimes We Get More Than We GiveMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks Sarah! I know absolutely nothing about coding! It’s just a template that WordPress had on file. I appreciate the positive words all the same! I’m really enjoying all the runs and hope to continue for a long time to come!!

  17. Hi Bradley! Thanks for sharing more of your story. Congrats on closing in on your 12 Half marathons for your #yearofthehalf. That’s so awesome!!!
    Denise @ Healthy Family Media recently posted…Milestone Pod review and giveawayMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks, Denise! 2015 has been quite a ride, that’s for sure. Glad you enjoyed a bit of my story. 🙂

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Nice to meet you Bradley! I love the story behind your Twitter handle. Traveling to Japan is on my bucket list for sure! I’m so tempted to run Laughlin/Bullhead City but I doubt my doctor will give me the green light so instead I’ll be cheering you on through Twitter!

    • bjcjapan says:

      Elizabeth – great to meet you too! I’ve had a few people ask about my Twitter handle, so I thought it was a good idea to talk about it! You know, there’s a 5K in Laughlin/Bullhead as well – you could do that one? If not, I’ll gladly accept the cheers! Thank you!!

  19. Mike says:

    So glad to have met you in the blog hop a while back and that I have been able to follow your adventures this year! You really built up so much positive momentum in your running this year, 2016 will certainly have some great things in store for you!
    Mike recently posted…Hitting The Reset Button…AgainMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Likewise, Mike! I’m so inspired by your runs, and your ongoing road to recovery after your accident. Thanks for being part of my journey!

  20. Hi Bradley, nice to meet you via the blog hop!
    Congrats on the 12 halfs for the year! Love the hashtag, may have to steal…err, borrow it for 2016, as it will be all halfs or less distance for me next year! 🙂
    I’m back as a BibRavePro in 2016 (was one in 2014), so looking forward to getting to know you better through that and your blog.
    Shannon @GirlsGotSole recently posted…Thankful Thursday 11/19My Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Hey Shannon! I’m sure I’ve seen you ‘around’ at #bibchat and whatnot. Glad we’ll be joining forces as 2016 BibRavePros! You’re more than welcome to make use of the #yearofthehalf since I’ve used it well this year! 🙂

  21. How neat about your twitter name! And I bet you could really turn some heads with speaking the language! Do you ever play pranks on people doing that? I have participated in BibChat a few times. I always forget when it come on. Nice to connect with you through the hop!
    Tricia@MissSippipiddlin recently posted…Advice I Would Give My Younger SelfMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Glad to connect with you as well, Tricia! I still use my Japanese at some of the local restaurants here in Vancouver, which sometimes gets a double take! Haha – kind of fun. I always enjoy #bibchat, although it bumps up against choir practice, so I sometimes run out of time!

  22. Lauren says:

    It is so nice to meet you through the blog hop! I love reading about your running journey! Wow you logged a ton of races under your belt in 2014….very inspiring! I also love the overall layout of your blog…it’s def got a good vibe!
    Lauren recently posted…Cherish Those Precious MomentsMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks for the positive feedback on the blog. I always hope it will be positive and, if I’m lucky, inspiring to others. I appreciate the visit. Great to meet you through the hop!!

  23. I love your #yearofthehalf. I’ve only ran two half marathons but I really like the distance. I’m now inspired to do more than one a year… Perhaps 2016 will be my #yearofthehalf.

    I’m still working on my 2016 race plans but already have two halfs earmarked….
    Nicola @ Faster Pussycat Run Run recently posted…Running at WorkMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      It’s funny – up until this year, I’d never done more than 3 halfs in one year (although I also did 2 marathons in 2014…) but I was so excited about a bunch of the race opportunities in 2015, I wanted to run ALL THE HALFS. 12 seemed like a good number. Look forward to hearing about your 2016 races!

  24. awesome meeting you through the hop! what a great running story. I love orange but I don’t nearly wear enough of it!
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…How to Have a Technology Free WeekendMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Great to meet you too, Mar – thank you! I feel like I need to get more orange gear, it’s a colour that makes me smile!

  25. Wow, 12 halfs in 2015! That’s awesome! Good luck on your remaining races!
    Debra @HappyRunningSole recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Week 15 Marathon TrainingMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks, Debra! Only 2 more races for 2015…and then I can take a bit of a recovery break. Looking forward to what 2016 will bring!

  26. So cool you speak japanese! Japan is a place I have on my bucket list to visit. I could eat sushi for DAYS! 🙂 I like the #yearofthehalf idea! I think I am going to start training to do my second one this spring. Nice meeting you thru the hop!
    Margaret @ Simple Fit Foodie recently posted…How To Cook Spaghetti Squash!My Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Japan is totally worth the visit! I loved living there, and always enjoy my visits backs…especially the food! We’re blessed in Vancouver to have lots of Japanese and sushi options! Awesome that you’re going to tackle a second half! Look forward to hearing about it!

  27. Cynthia says:

    Funny, I never really noticed the orange until you mentioned it and, yes, you do wear a lot of orange. It’s good to know the reason behind it.
    I love the smiles that are in your pictures. Running has obviously been kind to you.
    Themes make it easy to drive ourselves. My theme of the month is “speed” as I need to get it back into my legs – stat! As windy as it was tonight, that theme made it easier to drag myself out into the biting win to run a tempo on my own.
    I’ve been a follower on Twitter for a while. I’m glad that I’ve been able to learn a bit about your through the blog hop.
    Cynthia recently posted…How Did I Become a Soccer Mom?My Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      Hi Cynthia – thanks for the kind words! I love the way orange ‘pops’ in pictures and on the course…especially if the weather is a bit dull. I can’t help smiling when I’m running, it just brings me joy (most times…)
      Themes are great, right? Not sure what my 2016 theme will be yet. I like your ‘theme of the month’. I’m terrible with speed work, so maybe that’s one I should adopt!
      I really appreciate the follow and the engagement. Great to know you!

  28. Kristen says:

    Yay for another BibRave Pro! I just got accepted to be a new ambassador for 2016 and I’m so excited! I loved learning more about you in this post. It sounds like you’ve run some awesome races and there’s some cool ones in your future too!
    Kristen recently posted…Dear Non-Injured Me…My Profile

  29. My husband also has a thing for orange. Everyone thinks that he went to UT since he goes for the burnt orange and he always replies with no, but my wife did! Congrats on running so many races this year. The half is definitely my favorite distance!
    Lisa @ Lisa Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Part II: 2015 Ragnar Vegas with Team NuunMy Profile

  30. Caroline S. says:

    Greetings through the blog hop! I am looking forward to following your blog for running inspiration! I have always seen myself as the last person to be one with running, as as you say “antithesis” or pretty much anything athletic! I hated ninth grade PE too! And avoided it the remainder of my high school years by taking yoga for credits at the local college instead! I’m glad we’ve both found our joy for fitness and running!

    https://curlycaroline.wordpress.com/

  31. Vivian says:

    Agree with the orange hat being easy to see in the crowd. It is also easier on the eyes than neon yellow. I am also known as “my friend in the orange hat” at Kintec in Port Moody. Although nothing rhymes with orange, it goes well with its complementary colour, blue.