The Daily EO: September 16th, 2012

Participating in the Terry Fox run is pretty easy when you are 2 people in your thirties.  You can start getting ready about 15 minutes ahead of time, and arrive about 5 minutes before it begins, run/walk/bike, and be done.  With a group of seven people – 3 of them people children under 10, things get more complicated.

By the time we left at 11:30 am with 3 bikers, 2 rollerbladers and 2 runners, we had already been at preparation for about an hours.  First there was snacks, then making sure the bikes were ready, then the appropriate attire/shoes discussions, then snacks again because both parents were asked, then finding money for the donation, then screaming, then crying when an accident happened, then peeing, then eating, than strapping on the roller blades, then searching for headphones and house keys.  Finally, we were ready to leave.

After all that, I could have just stayed home.

As Terry Fox was from Port Coquitlam, the close by Coquitlam run is pretty small, but very convenient for us.  We walked/cycled/bladed up to the park when the event was taking place.  Everyone got free lemonade.  Then everyone had to find the bathroom.

We managed to get ourselves registered, donate and everyone got Terry Fox ribbons.    We started out in the middle of the pack at the first turn a friendly policeman directed up right when we should have got left.  Alison – whose days of blading were sometime before – found her self barreling down a hill while her husband shouted stopping directions at her.    Her horrified children watched as she grabbed on to a rotund stranger and managed to slow down so when she did actually fall, it was  a minor scrap on one arm.

Emile wanted nothing of this chaos and left us well behind and we didn’t see him again for an hour as he decided to complete the 10 k route.

After her terrifying blaze of glory, Alison and the two younger children turned off at the 2K route, while I continued on with the oldest child on her bike.  I encouraged her, I coached her, I told her she was doing great and we both eventually managed to get up that first long hill in the blazing sunshine.  As I felt the strength wan in my legs, her Dad caught up to us on his blades and I found myself abandoned without a backward glance.  Children are so fickle.

I proudly ran my 5K with my ribbon flapping – only occasionally sticking to my sweaty skin.

September 16th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Seeing the next generation of children learning about Terry Fox – a man who had set out quietly but made a big noise.



The Daily EO: July 12th, 2012

Greetings from Winnipeg, Manitoba and the Sheraton Four Points!

Hours door to door:  13 hours (Wawa to Winnipeg)
kms travelled: 1212.9
Money Spent:  292.89

After training in the hills of Huntsville, running 4K through the flat streets of Wawa felt pretty easy.  Well, for the first 2 kms, anyways.  But I ran further than I ever had before without stopping.   Yeah me!

We had a later departure after partaking in a leisurely breakfast at the Empire.  The perfect small town diner replete with aging waitresses, casual service, and fried bologna.   (Emile says it just tastes like hot dogs – I didn’t need the experience)

The views yesterday were lovely, but there were more of the same of the sun shining over Lake Superior.  We stopped in Terrace Bay and listened to what I associate with the ocean – the tide.  It took us nearly 10 hours to drive half of Lake Superior’s rim – a large lake for sure, but dwarfed when you think of the grandeur of own country – Canada.

Our cell phones both were out of range and it was a liberating feeling to feel so far from our lives in Huntsville.

We purchased the most expensive per litre gas in Marathon 142.9/liter.  (we didn’t fill up – just a half a tank – we showed them!)

Emile and I were both embarrassed to lack details of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope.  We couldn’t remember if he started on the East or West coast.  Emile claimed to remember pictures of him running through the prairies, and I couldn’t tell him he was wrong.

We discussed him and Rick Hansen during our drive on the 100 km Terry Fox Courage Highway coming into Thunder Bay.  We tried to think of others of any nationality that have made such a worldwide impact in bringing medical issues to front of mind – and couldn’t.

We stopped for an urgent pee break and to educate ourselves at the Terry Fox memorial near Thunder Bay where he had to end his run shortly before he died.  In reading the plaque, it crystalized in my brain that he was running a marathon every day.  And I barely able to scratch out 4 km with two good legs.

Driving through Kenora and into Manitoba, we were treated with my favorite scenic view – dark blue sky just after dusk with black silhouette landscape.  Those skies were lit up with showy lightning, and we spent 10 minutes driving through an intense rainstorm reducing our speed to 30 km.  It was exhilarating.

We tested our odometer just outside Winnipeg and discovered that for all practical purposes it is accurate.  Seems like a strange government program to put signage up for.  Well, a load off our minds.

Our arrogant Ontario-centric selves thought finding a room in Winnipeg would be easy – but the first four hotels were sold out.  And we wondered if we should have brought the tent.  No matter, we found a wonderful newly renovated place – more than we wanted to spend though – and crawled into a fluffy dream bed.

July 12, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:   Emile and I both being so moved at the Terry Fox Memorial that we needed to pause our conversation to get a hold of ourselves.  (photo credit Emile)

Terry Fox statue near Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada