Kelowna, B.C., duo Asha Tremblay and Savannah Holmes have something to celebrate: they successfully completed their goal of running 500 kilometres, barefoot.
“It was intense it was honestly the hardest eight days of my life and the most humbling eight days,” said Holmes, The Comfort Zone.
To add to the pressure of completing the equivalent of 12 marathons, they also had to face a heatwave.
“Our feet were not totally ready for the heat that we ended up in during but we got our feet on all kinds of terrain we have sidewalk roads we had rocks we had all kinds of hiking terrain,” said Tremblay.
With the help of professional trainers and medical experts, they have been pushing their bodies to the limit. Training daily to build up the soles of their feet to prepare them for the big eight-day barefoot journey through the Okanagan.
On June 28 they took on the 500-kilometre trek that was a fundraiser for a cause that is close to their heart.
“I grew up in Uganda and while we were there my mom started an organization called Enhanced Humanity and it’s a leadership education program that provides kids who are otherwise unable to access education or seek free mentorship and also just supporting their daily lives,” said Holmes.
Enhanced Humanity has been supporting its community members since 2000 and was formed to help raise the next generation from poverty, helps them realize their potential, and help them become entrepreneurs according to their website.
Tremblay said donations rolled in from around the world.
“It wasn’t just a Kelowna network that was donating we were in England, we were in the United States, we were in Australia. We made noise across the world for a group of kids in Uganda, and to see that international support come together, especially in the time of COVID, was one of the most humbling and empowering and fulfilling parts of it,” said Tremblay.
The duo ran from Mara Lake to Vernon and had plans of continuing through the Okanagan but, due to the heatwave, they had to make different plans.
“We were struggling to get our hydration and just having a team with us so we were routed and we did the remainder of the run right here just in circles,” said Holmes.
But they completed the run, injuries and all. Holmes ran with fractures in both of her feet.
“They are fractured, but you know what? The bottom of the feet is like perfect leather. I didn’t get a single blister, not a single cut — I don’t know how because I’m training they were just ripped up,” said Holmes.
And they are not stopping anytime soon. They are planning for their next challenge already — to keep the momentum and their bare feet going.
The pair are chronicling their training and the run itself online in hopes of inspiring people to join their cause.
Follow Holmes and Tremblay on their website, thecomfortzoneco.com