March 9, 2022
Last July, right smack dab in the middle of 2021, one of my running friends suggested that a few of us sign up for a race.
This wasn’t unusual. We sign up for races all the time, and even many virtual races lately.
This race was a big one, though. A year-long virtual team run spanning every province of Canada in an effort to cumulatively run ten thousand kilometers in one year, from the West coast to the North coast and then over to the East coast.
We signed up. We ran. We tackled The Big Canada Run.
And on this past Sunday morning, as a ten klick team run through the fresh weekend snow, we logged our last bit of mileage.
In a little more than eight months, nine of us managed to log a remarkable ten thousand kilometers (or about six thousand two hundred miles for you still stuck in imperial measures.)
Day after day, week after week. Competing against over two hundred other teams doing the exact same thing.
One run at a time, a few kilometers here and bunch more over there. Training runs, group runs, solo runs through the snow, epic slogs through the heat, half marathons, ultras and even just jogs with the dog.
I’ve done virtual races before, but this is by far the largest.
I’ve logged my own mileage for over a decade and often recorded high numbers over the course of a year, but never computed my distances with a team to reach such a monumental milestone.
Epic races are just epic goal-setting exercises. They let us see ourselves and our efforts against a backdrop of something so much bigger than ourselves or our individual footsteps. And running across a continent is so much bigger than running the loop around my park … even if I did have the help of eight of my friends.
July 4, 2021
Sunday Runday and I waited until today to finally make a big blogging deal about the latest running adventure in which I’ve signed up to participate. I’ve been sitting on it for a couple weeks and have been excited to post about it.
In fact, shortly after I wrote about running inspiration and alluded to my good friend who was just finishing up a virtual cross-Canada race logging nearly five thousand kilometers over twelve months, the same friend sent out a group chat wondering if anyone would be interested in something similar this year, but in relay form. He wasn’t keen on the solo route again.
Eight of us put up our hands, and dropped our cash on the table… and that’s how about three weeks ago I found myself signed up for “leg number two” of The Big Canada Run where the nine of us are going to need to log ten thousand kilometers between July 1st and June 30th of next year.
That’s about sixty-two hundred miles for you imperial system folks.
And as I’m writing this on July 4th, you can probably imagine that we’ve already started logging those kilometers… and yes, your imagination would be very correct.
Our team is currently sitting at just barely two percent done having kicked off the meandering virtual trip across the continental map with a group breakfast run on our July 1st Canada Day holiday in the scorching hot weather which ended, as all breakfast runs should, with an eggs and bacon picnic in the grass beside a freeway. Yup, really.
With my share of ten thousand klicks to clock, it could prove to be a very interesting running year for me. Perhaps it might even inspire me to train a little harder and do some races that are a little more based in reality, y’know, sooner than later.
And I’ll drop some further updates when we hit significant milestones. Stay tuned.
June 25, 2021
If nine people log all their mileage for a full year in an attempt to trace a virtual ten thousand kilometer route across the entire country, how do you classify that?
It seems like a mega virtual race worthy of some crazy name.
For the moment, we'll call it The Big Canada Run and starting July 1, 2021 me and eight friends are logging every step we take for twelve months in an attempt to reach 10,000km. It's completely achievable, but not a given that any one of us might come up short and leave the others holding the bag at some point over the next year.
I'll be posting updates here.