Right To Play

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

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?

TransRockies Quest 888: The End

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.

Right To Play: The Indomitable Spirit Of Our Northern Neighbours

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.

TransRockies Heli-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.

Cochrane Classic Car Show and Shine, and Right to Play

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.

TransRockies Gran Fondo

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.

Morley - 21 Days Later

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.

Bear Foot Running

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.

Alberta Floods and Hurricane Sandy Deja Vu

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.

Quests for Kids Round 8: Back in the Saddle

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.

Kids, Play On! - Aggressive Parents Should Chill Out On The Sidelines

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.

Family Values: One Family's Challenge To Make Things Better For Disadvantaged Kids

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".

My Most Meaningful Skate Wasn't at the Olympics

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."