Esther Pauls is known among Hamilton runners as a tough competitor and dedicated community leader. Since starting running over seventeen years ago, Esther has completed 24 marathons, with a personal-best of 3:52, and countless other road races and triathlons. She has completed three Ironman-distance triathlons, consisting of a 4km swim, 180km bike, and 42km run, most recently at Ironman Austria 2014.
Twenty years ago, looking for a change from her work in the insurance industry, Esther and her husband Gord opened the first Runner’s Den in Westdale village. Since that time, Esther has been an inspiration to novice and experienced runners alike. Through the Runner’s Den Running Clinics, she has led hundreds of runners to success at every distance from 5k to the Marathon. Esther’s passion is bringing new runners into the sport and showing them that they are capable of achieving more than they ever thought possible. Esther’s record of community involvement is even more impressive than her running resume. Not satisfied with being a source of inspiration and guidance for her runners, Esther dedicates herself to several charities. Through the Runner’s Den, Esther and her committee of dedicated volunteers host the Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon to raise funds for CityKidz & Joy and Hope of Haiti. In the 14 year history of the race, over $750,000 has been raised to support projects such as orphanages, playgrounds, and schools in some of the poorest neighborhoods of Haiti. Esther has personally traveled to Haiti on several occasions to lend her support first hand to food distribution and construction programs. Amazingly, Esther also finds time to support other worthy causes, such as Martha’s House, Good Shepherd & Jason’s House. Esther was also awarded the 2010 “Sport Ambassador of the Year” from Hamilton Tourism, a great honor for all they have done for the Hamilton running community. Esther’s hope for the next couple of years is to get involved with Liberty For Youth and help with some fundraising initiatives.