.: Ski XCOttawa.ca :: Skiing in Ottawa and Gatineau Park

By:  Adele Lay   (2008/07/25)

The Highlands Trailblazers beat a record, BIG TIME! In just one week, we ran the whole Bruce Trail, relay- style! Starting in Tobermory, on Tuesday June 24th, we headed south towards Niagara-On-The-Lake, a hefty 840km away. This is precisely where we ended up the following Tuesday, Canada Day.

The Bruce Trail is Canada's longest footpath and travels on private and public property across the entire Niagara Escarpment. It is one of only 13 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Biosphere Reserves in Canada.

The shortest this trek has ever been done before was a couple weeks, so the Bruce Trail Conservancy told us it was practically impossible to do it in a week. After a few simple calculations, we determined that it would be a challenge, but a realistic one. So we studied maps, rounded up some runners, recruited some parent drivers, notified local newspapers and radio stations and secured some pledges.

About 25 people ran at some point over the week but on any given day, there were 7-17 runners. A convoy of cars helped keep track of the runner and switch runners at the end of their section. Each runner ran 5-13 km at a time, depending on terrain, ability and logistics.

No day was ever easy. Some runners ran up to 30km in a single day. Not a day passed without someone getting lost. Much of the trail is in very rugged terrain and the access roads were little more than dirt tracks. But armed with radios, maps and some good sense, everyone made it out ok. As a team we averaged about 100km per day, running sun up to sun down. We saw some of the most beautiful parts of Ontario up close, and got to witness the change of environment from the rugged Tobermory to touristy Niagara. It was such a journey, one that everyone involved will never forget!

Day 3 - Kelly checking in

July 1st - End of trail!
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