Patrick Charlebois loves to run. That’s why he runs marathons.
But now he’s doing something that few people would dare to. He’s running 42 kilometres every day, in ten Canadian cities for ten days straight.
“Exactly,” said Charlebois at St. Patrick’s Park on the Lachine Canal as he prepares to start the Montreal run.
“That’s 522 kilometres in 240 hours.”
It’s all to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation. So far he’s raised about $5,000. His Montreal run is his fifth after starting in St. John’s Newfoundland on Saturday May 19. He aims to finish in Vancouver on Tuesday May 29.
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Peter Sheremeta is Quebec provincial director of the Terry Fox Foundation and he’s amazed at what Charlebois is doing.
“For 10 days he could be going to the Caribbean, he could be backpacking in Europe, and he’s deciding to punish himself physically to help people.”
As far as Charlebois knows, he’s the first to tackle this kind of challenge. Some, like Sheremeta, at first questioned whether Charlebois can pull it off.
“And then he said that he ran previously seven marathons in seven days on seven continents,” said Sheremeta smiling.
That was the World Challenge in January 2017. He was the only amateur to take part.
But that wasn’t enough for Charlebois. He wanted to do something back at home and more personal, so he decided to honour Terry Fox.
“Terry Fox himself was a big inspiration for me,” he told Global News. “When he began his Marathon of Hope, I was 10 years old, and I began running when I was 10.”
Charlebois also lost friends and family to cancer.
Doing something like this takes a lot of training, and he says he’s lucky to have the support of the National Bank of Canada, where he works as a portfolio manager. But the training is tough on the body.
“There are a lot of injuries, a lot of blisters,” he said.
Just a week before he was supposed to start, he got injured.
“My heel started giving me problems with the runner’s bump.”
He had to make a hole in his left running shoe to ease the pain, otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to run at all.
He doesn’t know yet what his next challenge will be, but he won’t be doing multiple back-to-back marathons again.
“I won’t do that again,” he said. “It’s too hard for the body.”
Still, he has inspired many, just like Terry Fox once inspired him.