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.