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Bermuda’s a happy place for sporting champ Frederick

Reward: John Frederick celebrates with a pint after last year’s Boston Marathon

It is 33 years since John Frederick was last in Bermuda, and on that occasion he ended up a champion — but not as a runner.

At the time he was a dedicated squash player and won the 1982 Bermuda Open Squash Championships. He was a visitor to the Island, having made friends with Bermudians at school in Canada. Although squash was his number one sport at the time, he ran to improve his overall fitness and had competed in his first marathon, in his home city of Toronto, four years earlier.

His squash days came to an end as family life took priority, but he continued running and regularly took part in marathons.

His marathon tally now stands at 74, with 29 Boston Marathons and 31 marathons in Toronto. This Sunday he aims to complete his 75th marathon.

Frederick competed in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon last year and won the top draw prize of a trip to Bermuda to compete in the Bermuda Marathon Weekend.

“I usually run two marathons a year — Boston and Toronto. I was really lucky and won the prize draw, in Toronto,” he said.

As he prepared for this weekend he set his sights on tackling the triple-event Bermuda Triangle Challenge.

The 62-year-old engineer set a personal best for the marathon of 2hr 37min when he was in his 40s.

He said he and his wife Jan were looking forward to seeing Bermuda again, and he intends to look up the squash club that has a wall plaque commemorating his championship win of 1982.

He has run every day for 30 years, and said: “I work from home on my own. When I started running it was for squash training and then it was to see how I could better myself. But after about 10 or 15 years it became the time of day when I had ‘my time’ without distractions or phones ringing. It is quite therapeutic.”

Frederick had originally planned to just run only the marathon in Bermuda, with a time of 3:40 or 3:45 in his sights. But if he runs all three races of the Challenge, he feels he may have to lower his marathon time expectations.