“There are those who think about doing something and those that do.”
Just a few weeks ago I met and ran with a fellow Canadian I profiled for Canadian running magazine (click here for the blog article). Edward Dostaler or Fast Eddy is running across Canada (twice)(Yes you read that right) basically unsupported (other than help where he can find it) raising money for Alzheimer’s and breast cancer charities in each province.
I profiled Eddy in April 2015 when he was on his first crossing. We briefly corresponded and I said I’d love to catch when he ran through Ottawa. It finally happened on his way back.
We got out for an easy run together in Ottawa on a nice morning and just chatted, about running, HOKA shoes, his run and how he was doing.
I asked Eddy some questions about his run and here are his often brutally honest answers.
What has been toughest part of the run so far?
“Bringing in the car has been a double edge sword – it allows me to be at multiple places and see many people and spread the awareness, however I then have to run double the distance which has been mentally devastating.”
“Not being finished on time. We all have goals and when I first started I wanted to be done in 354 days, however today is 428 and I’m not even past northern Ontario… I’m in North Bay. Races are easy – you know you have either a timeline that is one day or a distance that is feasible; this isn’t. Being away from family and friends – their lives carry on and one of the most difficult things has been being on my own: completely. And feeling forgotten at some points.”
“Christmas alone, and holidays alone.”
“Seeing no numbers for Alzheimer’s as I’m just a third party and knowing I have had to change my mindset to make my goals much much smaller as the donations for the causes are astronomically low for the amount of effort put in. People do fundraising dinners and raise more money than this and it’s beyond mentally tough.”
“It’s having to be by yourself for this long. Giving up your life to try and make an impact within people’s lives. It’s pushing everyday and having some days no one to talk to.”
“It was running into Cape Spear and St. John’s and no one was there to celebrate the half way or what others would say is a huge accomplishment.”
“Trying to convince news that it’s not an overrated story and they should cover it.”
How do you stay motivated?
“I gave people my word I would do it and so I need to fulfill my word. It’s knowing my grandmother would do anything for me and so I am trying to help others in her situation It was having a professor that actually cared about who you were and what you thought rather than backing up his own opinions. It’s the kids who believe in you. It’s the realization that you have made a small impact among more than I thought I would.”
“Music, the random acts of kindness, people who want to help, school presentations and I stay motivated the most when I think of not how far I need to go, but how far I have come.”
When do you estimate you will arrive home?
“I would like to be home before Christmas for sure, and hope to even before December, however I know how it normally goes when you plan something so I just hope to finish in one piece: that’s physically, but as well mentally.”
What has been the most amazing experience on your trip?
“People and their fight to keep me running.”
“Running and being the first cross country runner to run across Confederation Bridge on a cross country run.”
“420km in 5 days to the Ferry (to Newfoundland) and making it with just hours to before it launched.”
“The people who opened their homes to me.”
“The amazing runners I have been able tot run with.”
“The events on the side and people I have ran for (Deanna King).”
“The school presentations.”
“The letters I receive and write back to students is the biggest impact of this run.”
What are your plans after you finally arrive home?
“See where life takes me.”
Eddy is no sugar-coated doughnut. Eddy is a tough guy who is running twice across the country and who even admits he doesn’t like running that much. He can be rough around the edges a bit – I like that. Eddy is a real down to earth guy, slugging out an amazing tough run, alone, to help others.
As I write this blog update on Eddy – he appears to be in Sudbury, ON.
Run on Eddy!