A British Columbia man who is running across the country and back to raise money and awareness for two causes will be making his way through Central Alberta next week.
Eddy Dostaler, ‘Fast Eddy’, began his adventure on March 1st. His plan is to run 60 kms a day for one year while raising funds and awareness for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada. He is expected to run through Central Alberta between April 14th-18th.
Dostaler, 26, began in Victoria and his run will take him 21,585 kms, unassisted, in less than a year.
“I’m a short distance runner, I am not a long distance runner. I take highs and lows out of every day that I do run,” he said. “I work with a lot of people who love running – I don’t share that same feeling for it. I’m not in love with running; I don’t go out for a run to enjoy it. If you want your cause to stand out more, you need to do something that a lot of people can do, step it up a little bit so that people go ‘wow’ and then extend it so that people don’t think it’s possible.
“I had to train really, really hard for this and sacrifice quite a bit. There are 50 or so people that have gone across Canada already running; four have gone solo and unsupported but no one has ever come back. I’m going to go solo, unsupported across Canada and back.”
Running unsupported means that Dostaler is pushing all of his supplies as he runs. His supplies weigh a total of 110lbs.
Dostaler added the mental challenge of running a significant amount each day is much more than the physical challenge.
“I would much rather have the pain in my Achilles as I lift my foot and you can hear the tendons just straining, or my knees aching than sit there and think this is something you don’t enjoy – you can do it but at the same time you are not enjoying it,” he said. “You can’t look at it as running across Canada and back. You have to look at it day-to-day. As soon as you look at it as running across Canada and back, you will want to quit because it seems so big.”
Despite the physical and mental challenges, there are many bright spots for Dostaler on a daily basis.
“You would be shocked at what can happen if someone honks their horn. It has been pleasantly surprising to see the generosity I have seen.”
The real journey started for Dostaler when he was in grade school. He was assigned an essay on a Canadian hero. Not having a favourite already, he was encouraged to do some research on the subject. That’s when he came across Rick Hansen and Terry Fox – he was inspired.
“They did such tremendous good and really put others before themselves. I was so inspired by them – that stuck with me. I always knew I would do this run.”
Meanwhile, Dostaler’s goal is to raise $80,000 in each province for Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada – $40,000 going to each charity.
“The money raised in Alberta, stays in Alberta. Every province keeps their own funding,” he said. “If you knew someone was out there trying to make a difference and you could see that they are working hard at it – and it personally affected you, some way, some how – would you not want to get behind that and support that message? We can all make a difference. It’s an average person trying to do an extraordinary thing so that two causes stand out more.”
For more information and to follow Dostaler’s journey, visit www.fasteddycanada.com or check out ‘Fast Eddy’ on facebook.