Grace Annear is an elite Canadian middle distance runner and an aspiring writer. While pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Masters in Writing, she became a nine time All-Canadian and twice won the Canadian Interuniversity Sport 600m silver medal. In 2016, she competed in the 800m final at the Olympic Selection Trials. She now trains out of Athletics Canada’s WestHub in Victoria, B.C.

Grace Annear

Born and raised in Hampton, N.B, Grace spent most of her childhood staring at clouds, writing stories, and running around the yard pretending to ride racehorses. In her teens she discovered that running, her basic mode of transportation, is actually a sport. That turned out to be a pretty significant revelation.

Desiring a big giant adventure, eighteen-year-old Grace took off to Victoria, BC. Her dedication and love of track spurred an illustrious university career; while studying Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction she became an eight-time All-Canadian and medaled in the 600m at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championship.

The rigors of elite athletics took its toll; three years away from her home left her burnt out, injured, and homesick. In 2014 she retired from track. After filing her battered spikes in a dumpster, she spent the final year of her BFa writing, dancing at concerts, and travelling via backpack. In the fall of 2015, she began a Masters of Writing at the University of New Brunswick. The days of racing felt like stories from a different person’s life.

Then, the stories she wrote began to shape into comeback narratives. She started to walk-jog. By October, she could run for 20 minutes straight. By December, she had built up to an hour. She decided to give athletics one more shot—this time, training out of her native province.

Throughout the winter of 2016, she ran intervals in the halls of Fredericton High School and “hills” in the staircase of her apartment building. When the indoor season began, she donned the red and white of her new university. The overwhelming support of her community fostered a new sense of gratitude and faith, which translated to a stronger mindset and race mentality. That summer, she smashed her lifetime best and competed in the 800m final at the 2016 Olympic Selection Trials.

For months she excogitated over her next move, debating the risks proffered by each choice. Eventually, she decided to listen to her heart and trust her gut. If she wanted to make the next leap in track, there was one place that could get here there. After agonizing over which books to bring, after debating how many shoes one really needs, Grace booked a plane ticket west and joined Athletics Canada’s WestHub.

Now back in Victoria, she spends her days writing, running, and yes, gazing at clouds. Though she trains to hunt down her international goals, Grace focuses on the daily passage. Her love of the sport makes each day an adventure, and she cherishes the rare gift of pursuing her dreams.