Winning marathoner helping Macomb County get fit for life

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published June 21, 2013

 Harrison Township resident Bruce Seguin helps people reach their fitness goals.

Harrison Township resident Bruce Seguin helps people reach their fitness goals.

Photo by Julie Snyder

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Once you contact Bruce Seguin for help getting in shape, there’s no turning back.

Seguin will not only get you quickly addicted to a daily exercise routine, he’ll encourage you to contact him day or night for motivation and encouragement. He’ll also keep you connected with others with similar goals.

That’s why this winning marathoner and USA Track and Field-certified trainer ultimately named his coaching service Goal Maker.

“Getting started is the tough part, but everyone who contacts me, after a week or two, they’ve caught the bug,” said Seguin, 62, who trains people of all ages from grade-school-level to Olympic-level runners. “They catch that endorphin rush and they can’t let go of it.”

Seguin’s friend and business partner Sue Hentschel can attest to that.

Since the two met in 2008, Hentschel has dropped more than 165 pounds.

“When I opened my business (Posh Paws pet grooming salon on Crocker in Harrison Township) five years ago, I would see Bruce run by every day. I would watch him as I sat in here eating a bowl of chips,” she said.

The two became quick friends as both had a similar love of dogs and showing dogs competitively. Seguin, a resident of Harrison Township, eventually became Hentschel’s business partner and she soon approached him with concerns about her weight, which had exceeded 300 pounds.

Hentschel’s journey toward fitness started slowly. Seguin encouraged her to take short walks at first, and then speed and distance increased over time. Eventually, she was running regularly with Seguin, she hired a personal trainer for upper body workouts, and she adopted new, healthy eating habits, which include keeping track of her daily food intake. Between 2009 and 2011, Hentschel had lost 146 pounds and ran her first marathon two years ago.

“For me, running in a marathon isn’t about winning or losing; it’s about the physical fitness and the inspiration,” said Hentschel, whose story was featured in USA Today’s “No Excuses Weight Loss Challenge” in 2011. “Bruce inspires me to keep going. He does inspire a lot of people.”

And that’s Seguin’s ultimate goal because his clients, many of whom hire his coaching services for either a month or three months at a time, are on their own once he’s successfully planted that workout seed.

“They can contact me and post on my Facebook page what they’ve accomplished that day or what their goal is for that day or the next,” said Seguin, who also resides in Harrison Township. “Making that commitment for others to see and for people to respond to gives you that extra push to really do it. And my clients know that I am available 24 hours a day, and I give them that individual attention that they need to achieve their goals.”

He said his followers are also encouraged to report setbacks like a missed workout due to unforeseen circumstances. The encouraging feedback deters those feelings of failure, keeps them on track and helps them realize that a missed run or workout can be made up.

“If you do something every day for two weeks — something physical — and you lose two (clothing) sizes, you will feel much better and that will motivate you,” Seguin said.

Seguin also runs with some of Posh Paws’ canine clients upon request. “My clients are four-legged as well as two-legged.”

Seguin once enjoyed a daily rollerblading workout routine before becoming an avid runner 17 years ago. He said he and his ex-wife were trainers at athletic facilities all over Macomb County when, one day, she encouraged him to look into becoming a runner.

“I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I had never even run a 5k race,” he said. “A year and a half later, I ran in my first Boston Marathon. And I’ve done two and three races in a day.”

Since then, he has won multiple races, a majority of which are races for various charities. He has been first in his age group in multiple marathons, including the Detroit Marathon, which he has  won for the past two years; the Chicago Marathon, where he ran his fastest in 1998 in 3 hours, 6 minutes and 23 seconds; the New York City Marathon, where he finished 12th this year; and Boston, which he has participated in now for 14 years and finished this year in 3 hours, 17 minutes and 18 seconds. He passed the finish line an hour before two pressure-cooker bombs exploded, killing 3 people and injuring 264 others.

Seguin said he didn’t even realize what had happened because he was just driving away with a relative when they noticed a large number of ambulances and fire trucks heading toward the finish line. It was then his cellphone began going off with texts and calls, one after another, from family and friends wondering if he was OK.

He said despite the horror that took place that day, the Boston Marathon will remain one of the biggest races in the country.

“The Boston Marathon is the granddaddy of all marathons,” he said. “Next year’s marathon will be the most sought-after marathon tickets. Around the world right now, there are people training to qualify for the Boston Marathon.”

Currently, Seguin, who as of June 6 had run 526 consecutive days, is getting runners ready for upcoming races and marathons, including the Detroit Women’s Half Marathon on Sept. 22. He works with Hansons Running Shop to develop training plans and group runs.

He tends to take his clients on long runs at picturesque Stony Creek Metropark, where the views keep your mind off the running — which for some can be painful — and on the views and smells of the fresh outdoors.

“After so many years of doing this, I’ve seen how running is making a comeback in this country,” Seguin said. “People are again seeing the many benefits of it.”

For more information about Bruce Seguin and Goal Maker, call (313) 421-2042 or search Goal Maker on Facebook.