It was a busy Saturday for Dave Proctor. Starting 18 kilometres west of Morley, Alta. and running 97 kilometres to just outside of Chestermere.
But for the 37-year-old from Okotoks, it was just another day in the books as he attempts to break the Trans-Canada Highway run.
The current record is held by Al Howie who ran coast to coast in 72 days and 10 hours in 1991.
Proctor’s goal is to reach St. John’s, N.L. in 66 days. That means a pace of 108 kilometres every day for more than two months.
Members of the running community have dotted the route, witnessing one of the greatest long-distance feats in Canadian history.
Calgarian marathon runner Marieka Vanderburg was in awe as Proctor ran past her.
“[It’s] amazing to run that many kilometres a day for 66 days. As a runner, I can’t even imagine that. I run a marathon and I’m done. Just think about that and how much of an inspiration he has been to the running community.”
As with most cross-country attempts, there is a charitable aspect.
Proctor has set a goal of of $1 million to be donated to the Rare Disease Foundation. They focus on revolutionizing the research and care that goes into supporting Canadians with less common diseases.
Dave’s son Sam was hospitalized multiple times before being diagnosed with relapsing encephalopathy with cerebellar ataxia (RECA). Only five people in the world have been diagnosed with RECA and Proctor want’s to raise awareness about health conditions that don’t often see the spotlight.
“The average rare disease diagnostic in Canada takes five years. It took us six years with my son Sam and as a Canadian, that is way too long. As a father with a child with a rare disease, that’s way, way too long. I can’t have that anymore.”
Proctor hopes to dip his toe into the Atlantic by Aug. 31, completing the coast to coast run in 66 days. He has some leeway, as the current record stands at 72 days and 10 hours.
To track Dave’s progress, visit outrunrare.com.