By Lori Berkey, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Back in 1996, Jaimie Gosselin took up running as a means to stay in shape in college. Little did she know then that she would become so enamored with long-distance running that she would run more than 35 marathons after settling into her career. She took first place in the Fiji marathon in 2016 is slated to run the Comrades 90.11-kilometer ultra-marathon in South Africa in June.
Long-distance running isn’t Gosselin’s first endurance pursuit. She had the stamina to navigate the “old boys club” at Brown University to become the first woman in 10 years to earn a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in an environment that had no women on the faculty.
In addition to her current work as a professor at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, she assists her mother, Linda Frissora-Gosselin, in training firefighters in CPR, first aid and EMT recertification in various locations including Shrewsbury where she spent her early childhood. Gosselin is also a fan of beer and works at a local brewery for fun.
She said running provides her balance.
“Running is part of my soul,” Gosselin said. “I wake up every day and run. Some people drink coffee, I run. It’s simply who I am.”
Gosselin’s EMT background has proved to be useful in her running life, and she’s racked up her share of memorable moments on the race course.
“During my runs I have responded to medical emergencies that range from heat stroke, to a grand mal seizure, to someone having a heart attack in my arms,” Gosselin said.
Other experiences are less critical, but still quite meaningful to her.
“During other runs, I help pace first-time marathoners to a finish,” she said. “In a race this fall, I heard a girl scream out, ‘I’m not going to finish.’ I calmed her down and stayed with her till we finished the race together.”
Gosselin’s work as a professor is another motivator for her to stick with her sport. She hurt her knee in 2012 and thought long-distance running was over for her. But soon a tragic circumstance occurred that gave her running a higher purpose in regard to her teaching.
“Then the bombings happened at the Boston Marathon,” she said. “This lit a fire under me and I found that the more I run the more of a positive role model I have become for my students.”
Although the Boston Marathon holds a special place in Gosselin’s heart, she enjoys many other many other marathon venues, too.
“I run everywhere I go. I have traveled to well over 100 countries so it was only a matter of time before I raced internationally,” she said.
She is also set to run the Ragner Cape Cod 200 mile relay as part of an ultra team to benefit The Hole In the Wall Game Camp, a free camp for children with serious illness and their families. She is seeking donations to support the cause. Anyone interested in contributing can do so online here.