The host of Metro
Morning on CBC, Matt Galloway, 48, is a father
of two with an outsized influence on Toronto.
His decency and moral compass seem to act as a
barometer for how the issues of the day should
be framed. In that sense, he’s a lot like
Mark Sutcliffe in Ottawa and perhaps John Stanton
when it comes to our sport. It’s important
to know who the good guys are. Galloway says he
finds peace, at least in part, in his running
You wake up at
3 a.m. for work. Why’s it important that
you make time to run?
Much of my life is being
“on,” whether it’s on the radio
or with my kids, you need to be engaged. Also
I’m plugged in a lot. I have phones, watches
and things that buzz and the time when I run is
when I carve all of that out and have solitary
time. That’s why I make time to run.
Funny how working out can bring inner peace.
It’s like meditation. It’s the time
when I’m just not working. And there are
things that come up during work when I’m
running and the brain empties itself out and you
solve the big problems that you couldn’t
solve when you were supposed to be solving them,
but for me, running is the time to be out and
be aware. These days, I’m running a lot
without listening to anything and I explore the
city and get lost. It’s a way for me to
because runners are always being applauded for,
in essence, spending loads of time on themselves.
Being selfish isn’t something I can or should
do during the rest of my life. Family takes up
a lot of my time, work—those things are
supposed to—but running is this one thing
Do you want to race, get faster, improve?
I’ve run races and it’s fun. There’s
energy that comes from that and that’s different
than being by yourself. There’s also an
energy that comes from focusing on a specific
goal. But right now I don’t feel compelled
to compete. I’m aware of my pace and distance.
But I don’t need the competition part of
it. I just need to be out running.
Will you run on the treadmill during the winterttime?
I don’t have a treadmill and I don’t
go to a gym. I’ll run in snow and rain and
ice and anything like that. A few years ago I
ran every day for a year and it showed me there’s
always places you can run. Cemeteries, for example.
I love the story of how you became a runner, because
it wasn’t that you ran in school.
I was standing on the side of a road and watching
a marathon in the pouring rain and people were
electrified by what they were doing and I thought,
What don’t I get? It’s awful out,
and these people are having the best time. I needed
to find a way to experience that, and I did.
So from a non-runner to a runner
every day for a year. What changed?
I bought some shoes, ran down
the road and then I ran further down the road.
Ran a couple of loops in the park and thought,
this is really hard. But a few months into it,
you feel a little better, and then a few months
after that you feel a lot better and then I ran
a 5K, then a couple of 10Ks, and then I just kind
of got it. I started running a lot.
What has running taught
Discipline, and how strong you can become, how
fit. How you can go anywhere and how all you need
is your shoes and away you go. It changed my life.
And it’s been something you’ve stuck
I now run five or six days a week.
It’s just part of my life and now it feels
like my body needs it everyday.
That need you’re describing,
it’s not just endorphins, but sounds like
maybe something deeper, more complex.
It gave me something that I didn’t know
I needed. Which is that outlet, or that sense
of feeling fit. But a different kind of fitness,
there’s the ability to get out and explore
that I didn’t have otherwise. Turns out
I needed that in my life and I didn’t know
that I needed it, but the news is relentless and
a lot of it feels bad, and you need an outlet.
People do different things and for me it’s
lacing up and just disappearing into the city
or wherever I happen to be.
What’s it mean to you as a father, as an
example for your girls?
I like showing my kids that being physically fit
can be part of your life and that you go for a
run and come back and have a glow, but I also
like the idea of rigour. It’s easy to lay
on the couch, but whether it’s this or something
else, I want them to have a sense of commitment.
And deciding you’re going to do something
and sticking with it. I could’ve stopped
running for a day during that year—no one
would’ve cared—but it would’ve
ground me up and pissed me off. I want to feel
like I can commit to something and I want them
Where do you think you’ll
be as a runner in five years?
I watch big races all the time and I would like
to do the New York marathon sometime and maybe
I’ll do that, but I was out on a Sunday
long run and coming back home and as I got close
to my house there were two older women running
and they seemed like the happiest people you could
imagine. Just two women happily running and cruising
along and I want that. Not competitive. Just part
of your life.