Profile: Jonathan Walker, paying it forward after a rewarding comeback from injuries

Follow Jonathan’s front-of-the-pack musings from a guy who nearly gave up the sport due to injuries.

Jonathan moved to Vancouver Island in 2019. At that time he had not run a single step in over a year. He had suffered one string of injuries after the next and was out of shape and short on motivation. He came close to packing it all in and retiring the running shoes for good. Then in January 2020 something magical happened. He mustered up the will to join the local Island Road Racers (IRR) for a couple of easy runs around Elk Lake. That fresh island air, beautiful trails, and good company slowly reignited a passion for the beautiful sport of running again.

Jonathan Walker in the white singlet racing Aaron Holmgren during the Bazan Bay 5K

A just manageable 20-minute jog eventually led to consistent 45-minute runs, then training weeks of over 100k followed with Esprit RC, and before you know it pandemic time trials were in order and the burning desire to race was in full force.

Fast forward to the Spring of 2022 and Jonathan became the Vancouver Island Race Series champion in the lead-up to his debut marathon in Eugene. He ended up running a 2:32:45 performance. He then followed that up with a third-place finish at the 2022 Royal Victoria Marathon.

Jonathan credits the amazing club mates, coach, vibrant island running community, and racing scene with reigniting his passion for running.

As an ambassador for the series, he hopes to pay it forward by supporting others with their hopes and dreams, whether it’s finishing a 5k for the first time, or crushing a PB. It’s never too late to start (or restart) running!