Friday, August 29, 2008

Simply Superior.....

Another challenge came Run The Dream's way which we were prepared for! This week, there was a lot of discussion that running between Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa would be the toughest topographic challenge until the Rockies.  Great news- Terry and I survived and lived to tell the tale!
It seemed that the 200+ kms experience to Wawa was similar to a story most grandparents tell us about walking to and from school in the middle of winter- It was all Uphill!  Tuesday was the greatest challenge only because I got my facts mixed up.  Originally, I thought I was told the steepest climb was before Montreal Harbour River.  It conveniently worked out that we were staying at the Twilight Motel, in Montreal Harbour River, so in the morning Terry and I run and rolled to the motel for a mid-day break.  We conquered what we thought was the steepest climb until the afternoon run! 

As we started again and travelled around the bend- WOW!  This hill was steep, winding and had no end in sight!  Fifty minutes and 9 kms later we made it to the top!  This was just the beginning...For the next two days Terry and I experienced another 90kms of this through Lake Superior Provincial Park and made it to Wawa! 
We were greeted by the giant Canada Goose!  Wawa takes its name from the Ojibwe word for "Wild Goose"- Wewe. Intresting fact- This town has had four name changes since the early gold rush in 1898 (Michipicten City, then Wawa, then Jamestown, then Wawa again!)

We were also greeted by Wawa Councillor Ron Rody, Community Living Representatives and Troy, a six year old boy who deals with the day to day realities of living with autism.

Special thanks to the Wawa Motor Inn for hosting Run The Dream.
Along the way we met a small furry friend at the Twilight Motel.  We enjoyed each other's company for a little bit.

The Dream Continues...And Rolls On!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Into The Wild....

"Success is determined by those who prove the impossible, possible."
                                                 -James W. Pence
It's moving day! The next three weeks will be nothing but wilderness until Thunder Bay (625 kms away).  There are going to be a lot of roadside naps, amazing running terrains and quiet northern nights.  Everything else will be an adventure!
Destinations on the map to be conquered include Lake Superior Provincial Park, Wawa and White River.  Lots of pictures will be taken- including more of Terry dozing off in the daisies!
I'd like to recognize a former colleague of mine for continuing to prove that anything is possible.  Yesterday, in Penticton, B.C., Rhys Spencer completed yet another Ironman Canada Race.  Anyone who completes a 3.8 km swim, followed by an 180km bike ride, followed by a 42 km run in the span of one race has my utmost respect! Congrats Rhys!

*For those wanting to see some other pictures that haven't been posted on the blog you can visit the Website> Scroll onto the Connection Centre> Click on "Images Along The Way"

*As well the entire portion of the run route for Canada has been finalized> Scroll onto When and Where> Click on Jonathan's Route and Schedule

The Dream Continues....And Rolls On...Into The Wild!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The World At Large....

From the "Big Nickel" to the "Large Loonie".  As I was running towards it I asked myself why is there a "Large Loonie" in Echo Bay?  The Answer- Robert-Ralph Carmichael, a resident of the municipality, was the designer of Canada's Loon Dollar Coin in 1987.  Remember that fact!  You never know when you might be on Jeopardy and may need to know that fact!  Could be a Daily Double!
So Terry and I continued onto what will be our last major urban area for some time- Sault Ste. Marie! I never realized how close we are again to the United States border.  I can look out our hotel window, at the Water Tower Inn, and see the I-75 Expressway which, if travelled, can take you all the way to Miami, Florida.  That trip will be saved for another year!  Terry and I are heading the opposite direction!
Sault Ste. Marie has been home to Memorial Cup Champions (1993 Junior hockey team), hometown of Roberta Bondar (first Canadian woman in space and a McMaster Alumni), the Esposito family and where Wayne Gretzky played some of his hockey on the way to the NHL.
I'd like to thank the Children's Rehabilitation Centre of Algoma for inviting Terry and I to come and speak about Run The Dream as well as take us on a tour of their facility whose services such a large area of Northern Ontario.

The Dream Continues...And Rolls On....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ohhh We're Halfway There.....

Yes, you read the title of this blog correctly! Distance-wise, give-or-take a few kilometres, the halfway mark has been reached!
There has been a lot of running so far this week- Monday, 61 kms; Tuesday 42 kms; and today 40 kms.  Between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie the road crew has stayed at the MacIvers Motel (just west of Blind River) and are braking camp from Thessalon (the Carolyn Beach Motel- amazing sunsets) tomorrow morning and onto our new accommodation hosts the Water Tower Inn, in Sault Ste. Marie!
When Terry and I are not running/rolling, sleeping or eating we've found a few amazing hidden experiences along the way.  Firstly, there were the rapids on the Mississauga Native Reserve, across the street from the MacIvers Motel and then there was the beach oasis where the shallow water went on for hundreds of metres!  Oh and almost forgot to mention that we saw our first porcupine- Alive!
The Dream Continues...And Rolls On!! 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kilometre 4,000!!....

"There are three types of people in this world- Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.  We all have a choice.  You can decide which type of person you want to be!"
                           -Mary Kay Ash (Thank you Tom Jackman for the quote!)
The Run The Dream route travels along the Highway 17 (the Trans Canada Highway) and Terry and I will be running and rolling this highway, with the exception of a few side roads all the way from Sudbury to Winnipeg (approx. 1,500 kms).  On Friday night, around 6:15pm, the 4,000 km milestone, since St. John's, NL was achieved in Espanola, ON.  An ironic story- Our accommodation for the evening, Goodman's Motel, intersection of Highway 17 and 6 is the same motel Terry Fox stayed in as he ran through!  

FYI- I just happened to find this large sword in the parking lot and thought it required a photo-op.
Also, just wanted to say thank you to the Greater Sudbury Police Force for the escort out of Sudbury the other day.  Funny story-  As we were being escorted out of town, a women in a pick-up truck left her tailgate down and two gas cans fell out onto the road.  The officers attempted to flag her down but she sped off.  Only the name "Bob" was on the gas can, so on behalf of Run The Dream, I'd like to thank "Bob" for donating the 30 litres of gas and the officers for physically filling our tanks.
Another road crew change- Special thanks to my brother Justin for spending two weeks on the road escorting Terry and I (from Newmarket to Espanola).  We welcome Barry and Meghan Tatchell, from Mississauga, for the week to Sault Ste.Marie!

The Dream Continues.....And Rolls On!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Greater Sudbury- The Big Nickel!!....

Home of the Sudbury Wolves, Joe Bowen, Alex Trebek and Todd Bertuzzi.  Although I've lived in Ontario all my life, I had never been to Sudbury.  There is a lot of history in this town which started with the Canadian Pacific Railway developing a transportation route through the area, making it more feasible to extract the large nickel and ore deposits. A little known fact I learned is that, in 1939, Sudbury was first city in Canada to install parking metres. 
The Days Inn has been generous enough to accommodate the Run The Dream crew for three nights here in Sudbury as part of our Greater Sudbury Autism Awareness Campaign.  Big special thank you goes to Trish Kitching for co-ordinating the full day of events!

It kicked off yesterday morning with a run into the city towards Tom Davies Square (outside City Hall).  Terry and I had a large escort of runners from the Sudbury Rocks Running Club and many other keen participant.  Thirty runners for the 10 kms was our biggest runner turnout to date and was well appreciated!

Upon arrival to the festivities, at noon, Terry and I were greeted by France Gelinas, MPP Nickel Belt; Deputy Mayor Ron Dupuis and fellow City Councillors; Maxine King, Chair of Child Care Resources; and Minna Mettinen (thank you for the special framed gift).
As I opened the Sudbury Star this morning, Page A3, featured Greater Sudbury's local celebrity, 10-year old Matteo Raso who spoke at the noon hour event and told the large crowd, although he is autistic, he aspires to be the next Albert Einstein.  Who knows- maybe Matteo will discover a cheaper and cleaner source of energy someday!
I'd also like to thank some local service providers in Greater Sudbury for a Run The Dream 3,900 km tune up- Celeste Hutchings, at Allied Physio, and Nancy Pitre, at Helping Hands Message, for working out the kinks in my muscles and Norma for giving me my first haircut since St. John's, NL.

The Dream Continues...And Rolls On...West Again! 

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Don't Hold Back....

"Tough times don't last but tough people do."
                        -A.C. Green

When it rains, it pours!  After Thursday's event, at Market Square, in Parry Sound, with speakers Norm Miller, MPP Parry Sound-Muskoka, Jo-Anne Demick, Executive Director of Community Living; and Maureen Porter, another parent who deals with the everyday realities of Autism, the clouds and the rain came quickly and did not let up until Saturday night.  Thanks to Eric Granz (former road crew member of New Brunswick and Quebec) for organizing the Parry Sound event and everyone who came out before the 36 hours of rain came!
Personally, heat and cold are fine to deal with, by either adding or subtracting layers, but rain (along with wind) is one of those weather elements which I have not found a water repellent shoe for yet.  Once the feet get wet, the water adds a few extra pounds, and the possibility of blisters occurring increases. Their is always a rational solution to every problem.  In this circumstance, Terry and I elected to sit out the rain and add the kilometres to next week.
A nice surprise on the road today was seeing a former teacher, Miss Pugh, from Tecumseh Public School.  So, as the sign shows, Terry and I have 123 kms to Sudbury, along Highway 69 then we get to turn left and head west to Sault Ste. Marie!

The Dream Continues...And Rolls On...To The Home of the Big Nickel!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Running Day 100......

Where does time go?

Rolled up sleeves, sunglasses and a camelback water pack on my back...100 Running Days ago, on March 25th, all these running accessories were at the bottom of my suitcase! It is hard to believe that yesterday was DAY 100!! For those wondering, the halfway mark is around the Sudbury area!
How was Running Day 100 spent? Well Terry and I run and rolled from Gravenhurst to about 20 kms north of Bala (along Hwy 69). Total distance- 51 kms. For the next couple days the Dobson family, from Mississauga, is hosting the road crew at their cottage. To celebrate Day 100, the Dobson family took everyone from the road crew for a boat ride on Lake Muskoka

Thanks to one of Run The Dream's sponsors, Complete Innovations, anyone can track Terry and I right across the country. While we stopped in the GTA, our Ford Escape escort vehicle, donated by KCC Leasing, in Toronto, was upgraded with a new GPS tracker, which people can log onto through the Run The Dream website, and follow along! The time delay is only 2 minutes! This feature helps us keep daily run statistics as well as keep the Run The Dream online community updated about where we are 24/7.

The Dream Continues and Rolls On....To Parry Sound

Monday, August 4, 2008

Newmarket, Bradford, Barrie and Orillia....

"Vision is the art of seeing invisible things."
-Jonathan Swift

The Dream is heading north!
Saturday morning, at the Bradford Lion Park, Nancy Morrison organized a community BBQ with special guests, MP Peter Van Loan, MPP Julia Munro and Mayor White of Bradford. It worked like clockwork with Terry and I running through that morning and then continuing onto Barrie! Thank you to all who came out for the lunchtime event!
As mentioned, Terry and I continued onto Barrie where the Kempenfest Art Festival was taking place. The Simcoe County Autism Chapter had a tent with a large group awaiting our arrival. Special thanks to Wade Beebe for organizing the arrival, as well as MP Patrick Brown, Councillor Andrew Price, and Darren and Amanda McNaulty for being a part of the run to Kempenfest.
This morning (Monday), Terry and I continued run and rolled from Barrie to Orillia (45kms). Tomorrow we'll be meeting with the Orillia Mayor Ron Stanton, MP Bruce Stanton. Thank you to Lori Larimer for organizing this!

The Dream Continues and Rolls On.....

Friday, August 1, 2008

John Tory, Damon Allen, Amanda Lang and Coldplay.....

While I've been running across the country, the Run The Dream Volunteer committee co-ordinates sending out letters and e-mails of invitation to politicians, business leaders, media organizations and other groups who might have an interest about what Run The Dream is doing in their community and/or province.
Yesterday, Terry and I had the privilege of a 30-minute meeting, at Queen's Park, with the Conservative Opposition Leader, John Tory. It was a very engaging and thought-provoking discussion about Autism Spectrum Disorders- an issue that has constantly garnered growing media attention. On behalf of Run The Dream, I'd like to thank Mr. Tory for taking time out of his busy schedule to discuss an issue that affects 1 in 165 children born and is a lifelong challenge for many families.

After that meeting, Amanda Lang, anchor of Taking Stock, on the Business News Network, invited me onto her show to talk about the run. Thank you Amanda for helping share the story of Run The Dream and Autism Spectrum Disorders with your viewers.
The evening was capped off with a Friends and Family Cruise, hosted by one of Run The Dream's sponsors, Mariposa Cruises (located in Toronto's Queen's Quay area), with future Hall of Fame Quarterback Damon Allen as our special guest. Damon holds the record for the most all-time passing yards by a quarterback in both the NFL and CFL. More than Warren Moon, Dan Marino, Brett Farve, Joe Montana or Troy Aikman. He is a great speaker and his 23 year pro football career accomplishments attribute to how hard work, dedication and preparation can culminate into success. Thank you Damon!
Thanks also to all my friends and family who came out and enjoyed Run The Dream's success to date. It was nice that the weather co-operated and that everyone could enjoy the view of the Toronto skyline. 5,000 more kms to go!

A lot people have been e-mailing me and asking what I did for my birthday. Although I did run in the morning of the 30th, I took the night off because my favourite band in the world just happened to be in Toronto- Coldplay! I leave you with an excerpt of their song "Fix You", from their X&Y album, that they performed that night.

The Dream Continues and Rolls On.....North!