Port Alberni RCMP Const. Julie Martel loves to run and her passion for it nabbed her two medals at the World Police and Fire Games in Belfast, Ireland earlier this month.
Martel won a bronze medal in the individual half marathon and a gold medal in the team event. The wins were a complete surprise to the 25-year-old, who started running eight years ago.
“I have done many half marathons—this was my seventh—but I’ve never been in the top three for my category,” Martel said. “[On the podium] I was definitely shaking. I didn’t expect that.”
The shy constable said it felt like she was in the Olympics as people waved and cheered when she carried a Canadian flag while marching in the opening ceremony with fellow Canadians.
Originally from Quebec City, Martel has been an RCMP constable for four years; the same amount of time she has served in Port Alberni.
She runs regularly in and around the city. “I run every second day, so three to four times a week,” Martel explained. “It depends on the day. And with shift work, that can make it difficult.”
Martel added this trip to Ireland was also a vacation with her friend, Ireland being a country she has wanted to visit. It was also an opportunity to both compete and meet other firefighters and law enforcement officers from around the world. She won her medals on Aug. 4 and arrived back to Port Alberni last week.
Energized from the experience, she plans to attend the next World Police and Fire Games to be held in the United States in 2015.
Her fellow officers are proud of Martel’s accomplishment and representing the local detachment on the international stage.
“Const. Martel proved through hard work and commitment that she can compete with the very best and make it to the international podium,” said RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jen Allan in a press release.
“Her friends and colleagues couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments.”
The event drew 6,000 competitors. The 2015 games will be in Fairfax, Virgina.