October 28, 2014 - 10:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - Edward ‘Fast Eddy’ Dostaler had little experience with long-distance running before he announced plans to be the first person to pound the pavement across Canada before turning around and running back.
The 26-year-old carpenter from Kamloops decided his solo run will start in Victoria March 1, 2015.
“Overall it’s going to be over 21,000 kilometres,” he says.
The run to raise funds for breast cancer and Alzheimer’s will include ten 24-hour running events – one in each province.
As he plans to run a whopping 60 kilometres per day, Dostaler’s training regime is akin to most career runners – monitoring and keeping a consistent pace, stretching, swimming and adding a host of routine exercises. But there’s a catch in order to meet the daily distance: He trains himself to run on little to no sleep. His longest run without bed rest was completed on his 26 birthday – it lasted for 48-hours.
“I had people counting all the laps. I had friends that were here – five of them who would do rotations. They would sleep,” he says.
But Dostaler’s friends won’t be there to cheer him on during his trip – except for the occasional phone call. He plans to complete his trek alone as he zig-zags across the country before he reaches St. John's and turns around.
Friends and family of Dostaler have supported him since he announced the run last year. His choice to run for Alzheimer’s came after his grandmother’s diagnosis. Breast-cancer research, the second agency for which Dostaler plans to raise funds, comes from his close relationship with TRU’s late professor, Tom Owen. An avid supporter of the charity, Owen succumbed to cancer himself.
“I want to do justice for both causes,” Dostaler says.
The strong support has carried him thus far, but response to Dostaler’s mission has not been positive across the board as people doubted his resolve and abilities.
“There’s always going to be critics out there but I mean as long as you’re positive to yourself and you know that you did it,” Dostaler says. “There (were) not a lot of people out here for that 48-hour run. I know I did it. I know I didn’t sleep.... self respect is the most important thing.”
The criticism may be hard to hear, but there’s no comparison to the trials Dostaler may face. Temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees, water supply, passing vehicles and wildlife are all aspects he thinks about in preparation for the spring.
In addition to all the items packed in his jogging stroller, Dostaler will have bear spray packed to combat wildlife. For weather, he’s trained in several climates including minus 40 during the winter months. All appears like it bears no similarities to a casual Sunday run, but Dostaler confesses his greatest barrier is not physical.
“The mental aspect is going to be the toughest part of the whole thing,” Dostaler says.
He’s received sponsorship from Thompson Rivers University and Runner’s Sole, but Dostaler seeks donations to help raise funds for his two charities before setting off.
To contribute to Fast Eddy’s $250,000 fundraising goal, visit his gofundme page online.
-This story was edited at 10:39 p.m. October 28 to correct the city where Dostaler will turn around.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014