Martin Parnell
At 47, Martin Parnell wasn’t in running shape. Now 14 years later, he’s completed an astonishing 250 marathons in one year, set five Guinness World Records, summitted Mount Kilimanjaro in 21 hours and ran 1000km around the coast of England in 25 days.

In 2010 Martin ran 250 marathons and raised $320,000 for the children’s charity Right To Play. At the end of 2014 he finished his “Quests for Kids” initiative, completing 10 quests in 5 years, raising $1.3M for Right To Play and changing the lives of over 27,000 of the world’s most disadvantaged children.

With 25 years experience in the Canadian mining industry, Martin has held positions of responsibility in engineering, operating and human resources.

He is a Rotarian, an author and keynote speaker.

Martin is married to his wife Sue; they have three children, Kyle, Kristina and Calum and three grandchildren, Autumn aged 12, Nathan aged 7 and Matthew Conner aged 2.

Entries by Martin Parnell

Paddle Boats Of Afghanistan: A Country Of Contrasts

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2017 | 11:42 AM

kabul afghanistan

It's been almost three months since I ran the Marathon of Afghanistan and I have been asked many questions about the race. However, that was only seven hours out of an 11 day trip and I would like to share with you some of the...

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Homeward Bound: My Run 1014 kms Around the South West Coast Path

(0) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 8:35 AM

My suitcase is waiting, ready for me to pack, as I prepare for my trip to England. On Saturday I'm heading over to the U.K. and on Tuesday, March 4 I start my attempt to run 1014 kms around the South West Coast Path. Trying to decide what to take...

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How I Got Lost in the Yukon Wilderness

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 12:12 PM

It's 3:30 p.m. and won't be long before darkness falls. The ice fog is rolling across the trail and frost hangs from the trees and bushes like a white blanket. I've got enough water for a couple of hours but there's a small hitch, I don't know where I am....

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I Ran 250 Marathons in one Year. This is What my Body Looked Like Afterwards

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 12:40 PM

In a recent edition of the New York Times, journalist Gretchen Reynolds highlighted the findings from a study published by the Public Library of Science, under the heading "What Ultra-Marathons Do to Our Bodies"

In summary, the study established that there was a lower prevalence of serious...

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Scotiabank Calgary Marathon: Think of the Children

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2014 | 7:09 PM

I love the Calgary Marathon. I first ran it in 2003 and the only reason I entered was because my brother Peter had challenged me to. At the age of forty-seven, running wasn't part of my life and I really wasn't that interested. However, when the gloves are thrown down...

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Jamie McDonald, Fundraising Adventurer, Tackles the Rockies

(0) Comments | Posted January 2, 2014 | 5:56 PM

In late July, Amanda Powell, my contact at Right To Play in Toronto, told me about a crazy Brit who was crossing Canada, unsupported, in aid of children hospitals in England and Canada. He had given a presentation at the Running Room to which Amanda belongs, about his hope to...

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How to Beat your New Years Resolution Deadline

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 3:22 PM

New Years Resolutions are a pain in the butt. On January 1 you get all enthusiastic about the changes you're going to make. Maybe quit smoking, drop a few of pounds or eat more fish. The classic is joining the gym. In fact people are very good at joining the...

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First Winter Run

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2013 | 6:46 PM

I knew this day would come, sooner or later. The two runs I had completed earlier this week, were around zero Celsius and the weather forecast for the weekend was cold, very cold. It's 6.30am on Sunday morning and I'm looking through frosted glass at the outside thermometer. The red...

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Lights, Camera, Action - Making a Pitch to National Geographic

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 4:04 PM

I've often thought that Marathon Quest 250 would have made a great reality TV show. One man, 250 marathons, one year, attempting to raise $250,000 to help kids around the world. There would have been blood, numerous falls on trails and roads with scrapes to knees and hands; sweat, hour...

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Right To Play National Inspirational Speaker Series

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 6:44 PM

The Right To Play National Inspirational Speakers Series kicked off on September 30th. Thanks to generous support from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), RTP is offering free educational and inspirational presentations in schools, across Canada, throughout the month of October. This series will span 24 days,...

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TransRockies Quest 888: The End

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 11:35 AM

At 11.05am on Monday October 14th, I was sitting on a sandstone ledge, enjoying the desert views on Getaway Trail, just outside of Moab, Utah. I had just completed 18 kms on Stage three of the TransRockies Moab Rocks mountain bike race. More significantly, I had hit the 888 kms...

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Dream Weaver

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 4:45 PM

On Saturday October 5th, the Annual Monumental Tournament of Aces was held at the Links of GlenEagles, in Cochrane. Kelly and Diane Kimmett, their family and friends have held this event for the last six years in memory of their daughter, Lindsay who tragically passed away in 2008.

Lindsay was...

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Right To Play: The Indomitable Spirit Of Our Northern Neighbours

(0) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 3:45 PM

In early January this year, I received an email from the NWT Recreation and Parks Association. They wanted to know if I would be available to do a keynote presentation at their September conference in Fort Smith. The theme was "Playing It Safe vs. Taking Risks," and they wanted to...

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TransRockies Heli-Run

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2013 | 7:55 PM

One of my favourite shows this summer has been Bear Grylls "Get Out Alive". Bear is a British adventurer, ex SAS member and youngest ever Chief Scout. In "Get Out Alive", Bear took ten teams of two to New Zealand. There, they had to endure many physical and mental tests,...

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Cochrane Classic Car Show and Shine, and Right to Play

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 7:36 PM

As a young man, one of my greatest pleasures was hitting a winding road in a two-seater, open-top sports car. On Sunday September 15th., I volunteered at the Cochrane Classic Car Show and Shine and, seeing some of the wonderful vehicles which took part, certainly took me back to the...

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TransRockies Tour of Alberta

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 8:02 PM

Last week the Tour of Alberta rolled into the Province with a bang. Cycling is extremely popular around the world and this event was shown in a 150 countries and watched by over 50 million people.

There were 6 stages, from September 3rd to 8th. The start was in Edmonton...

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Quests for Kids: Mile-High City and High Levels of Pain at TransRockies Run

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2013 | 9:35 PM

On August 12th I was flying into Denver and still feeling the effects of the four-day Transrockies Challenge. I had got pretty beaten up, riding my mountain bike, navigating trail sections between Blairmore and Canmore. It had been just over a week since it was completed and the cuts and...

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TransRockies Challenge Teaches Quest 888 Some Tough Lessons

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2013 | 1:20 PM

TransRockies Quest 888 had reached a critical juncture. I had completed one road running race, two ultra trail running races, one road bike race and covered 297 kms towards my total of 888 kms. It was now time for my first mountain bike race. This was a bit of an...

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The Detroit Mower Gang, A Starfish and Why We Shouldn't Give Up

(4) Comments | Posted July 28, 2013 | 11:31 AM

The CBC Radio show "As It Happens" has been on the air for over 44 years. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. each week night and my wife Sue and I listen to it as we're having our supper. They conduct interviews with people from around the world, some serious,...

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24 Hours of Adrenalin: Kids Helping Kids

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 1:49 PM

On Saturday, July 20th at 1.30pm, I was hurtling down a single track trail, on my mountain bike, at the Canmore Nordic Centre in Alberta. I was holding on for dear life and getting rattled around like a bag of bolts. This was the first lap of two that I...

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