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When Canadian music industry mogul Gary Slaight announced his foundation was giving a $7 million donation to seven non-profit organizations, he didn't just hand over a cheque. He presented a vision. Slaight wants non-profits to come out of their silos and change the world with cooperation.
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 has been difficult.
An ultra-marathon is a foot race longer than the standard 42.2km marathon distance. The reason why I was so interested in the findings of this study is because I have run a few ultras during my running career...
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.
Glacier National Park. This 54 km section of the TransCanada contains numerous snow sheds and avalanche paths. Brenda had major concerns for the safety of Jamie, motorists and snow plough operators.
New Years Resolutions are a pain in the butt. On January 1st you get all enthusiastic about the changes you're going to make. Maybe quit smoking, drop a few of pounds or eat more fish.
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 upon hour of pounding the pavement 5 marathons a week, and tears, a bad leg injury early on, would that be the end of the Quest? Would I let down the 5,000 children I had pledged to help?
As we visited school after school, Basil would introduce us to teachers he had taught. The schools were mostly in Charlottetown and we had a couple of country schools as well. The group size ranged from 50 to 450 and grades 3 to 9.
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 target I had set for Quest #8, TransRockies Quest 888.
Brad had spent twenty years battling addictions but the turning point came when he saw a poster for the 2005 BMO Vancouver Marathon. Not only did he run it but he came in 743 out of 5,000 athletes. Shortly before the article I was reading was published, Brad, whose running name is "Caribou Legs", had just finished an incredible ultra-run.
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, including being dropped into a freezing lake from a helicopter, crossing a gorge on a rope, traversing a glacier full of crevasses, building a raft and riding it down a raging river. The winning team collected $500,000.
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 days of my youth.
Ken Hutchinson, President of the Cochrane Classic Car Group, asked if I could get some volunteers, who regularly represent Right To Play to help out.
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 bruises were starting to heal.
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 issue as I'm not a mountain biker.
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 would complete during the 24 hours of Adrenalin.
So far, in TransRockies Quest 888, I have completed three events, the Skirt chaser 5km, the Fernie 80km Trail Ultra and the Kananaskis3 three day 76km Trail Ultra. On Saturday July 13th, it was a change of pace, The TransRockies Gran Fondo. Firstly, a little bit of background on what a Gran Fondo entails.
These races are mass-participation cycling events that have enjoyed incredible popularity in Europe for decades and are gaining momentum in North America.
On Wednesday July 10th, I decided to head back to Morley, the First Nation community, 30 kms west from where I live in Cochrane, Alberta. I had checked their Facebook page and saw that help was still needed.
Having parked at the Morley Community School, I walked around to the back of the building, where I met Hyron. He said he was the school cook and now, with the flooding, he was given the task of cooking for all the families who were having to take refugee in the school. Hyron has lived in Morley all his life and has five children.
Kananaskis3 was event number four in my TransRockies Quest 888. The original plan was to run three events over three days in the Powderface / Little Elbow area of Kananaskis just outside Bragg Creek. Unfortunately, the Alberta floods put an end to that. Bragg Creek had been hit hard, the bridge on Highway 66 had been destroyed and many of the trails had been wiped out.
On Monday, November 5th 2012, I was packing food hampers at Saint Jacobi Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, New York. Hurricane Sandy had caused widespread destruction a few days before and my reason for being in the city, the New York Marathon, had, understandably, been cancelled. It seemed only natural to respond to a request for volunteers.
It was a simple plan. I would have my very first mountain bike lesson on Tuesday and then, on Friday, head up to the Canmore Nordic Centre to sign in for Rundles Revenge. There would be a 25km mountain bike race on the Saturday and a 50km trail run on the Sunday.
Why would millions of kids walk away from sports which are meant to be fun? Well, the reason is it's not fun, not when Mum and Dad are "Yellers". Children are embarrassed by parents behaving aggressively on the sideline of junior sports event, especially their own. Telling a 16 year-old, "you're not trying hard enough" or, "you'll be cut from the team" is bad enough. But telling a 6 year-old is, surely, unacceptable.
Right To Play
In early January of this year, I met Glenda Zamzow at a book signing in Calgary. A week later, after having read my book she contacted me. Glenda told me that she had been inspired by my story, which led her to organize a family meeting with her husband Richard and sons 11 year old Derek and 14 year old Marcus. As Glenda told me "I really felt we should do something - we've been given such great opportunities. You always hear people say 'Just pull yourself up by the bootstraps.' But disadvantaged kids, they don't have boot straps. If it were me, I'd want someone to advocate for me".
Generally speaking, women enjoy a relative amount of safety in Canada. But safety is not equality. International Women's Day was born out of a long-standing movement to enable women to participate equ...
Alberta's "Marathon Man" Martin Parnell helped to break yet another world record Sunday for his part in longest five-on-five indoor soccer game, played in Cochrane, just west of Calgary. Parnell — wh...
AP File Photo
After the community feast in Sheshegwaning First Nation, as we were preparing to drive back to Sudbury, one of the girls I met asked me if I was ever coming back. I replied that yes, maybe one day I would make it back there for another visit. Still unsure of my impact, I asked the girl why she wanted me to come back. And she said, "Because nobody ever comes here."
We should all be so lucky, not only to live until the age of 91, but also to thrive and endure and play slo-pitch!
There is something remarkable happening in Rwanda today. In a country that has been torn apart of civil war and genocide, there are children playing.