© Copyright – 2016 – Victoria Sports News
There are just a handful of people that have managed to run across Canada, from Vancouver Island to the Maritimes or the other direction. There are fewer still that have run from one end to the other and back again. In fact there are exactly just two.
In 2013 Andy Sward of Vancouver walked across Canada with a double-wide baby jogger in his pledge to pick up bottles and cans along the way from Vancouver Island to St. John’s N.L. He managed to pick up a total of 30,000 on the first trek. In 2015, he did it again going the other direction. He dubbed the trek, “the million bottle march.” With a long break in between, it took him four years total.
Edward Dostaler also known as “Fast Eddy” will be finishing his second run across Canada Saturday, October 29 at 3:00 PM. He will arrive at Clover Point with friends in-tow, after having run for 24 hours straight from Nanaimo to Victoria.
Asked about the cause that he is supporting Dostaler replied, “there are two causes one is breast cancer, it is still the number one killer of women in Canada of all cancers and the other is Alzheimer’s, which my grandmother currently has,” said the native of Clearwater, BC, by way of Hinton, Alberta. “I am close to my grandmother. She is 89 years old and just celebrated her 68th wedding anniversary.”
Fast Eddy says that one in three people in Canada get Alzheimer’s.
On March 1, 2015 at 8:30 AM, Fast Eddy set off on his cross-Canada run from Victoria and finished in Cape Spear, N.L. then ran all the way back again. It has taken Fast Eddy 17 months.
“Each dollar raised in the individual provinces that I pass through gets 100% of the money for that leg. The funds go directly to that province’s branch.” Dostaler has no idea how much money he has raised, at a conservative guess he settled on $50,000.
Along for his final leg tonight is Victoria-based distance runner Jerry Hughes as well as Saskatoon runner Dave Buchner.
Asked why he wanted to come to the coast to run for 24 hours Buchner said, “We had Fast Eddy in Saskatoon on his way back, which was generous of him as it added mileage to his run. We had a fund-raiser, barbeque and community run and Fast Eddy made some friends while in Saskatoon.”
The club will be running a parallel final 40K in Saskatoon Saturday.
Buchner is a member of the Saskatoon Road Runners Association. Unlike Dostaler, Buchner loves to run. “I run about 135K per week and race marathons” shared Buchner.
Both Hughes and Buchner are competitive age-group runners, where Dostaler, despite his massive run said, “I actually hate running, but I am sticking to my pledge to run across the country both ways for charity.”
When pressed and given the scenario of getting a break from running, asked if he would perhaps enjoy it under normal volumes, Dostaler said, “yeah you never know how I will feel. I do need to run again once I have had a couple of days off. So probably yes.”
“I played hockey for 43 years. I retired from the sport and sat around for two years,” said Buchner. “I picked up running because I was just sitting around.”
Buchner has taken to the sport nicely having raced marathons, 100-kilometre and 100-mile races. While Hughes races every distance from 800-metres to the marathon and has participated in some long distance charity efforts of his own including running the length of Vancouver Island.
Heather is Fast Eddy’s driver. She drives the support vehicle and began planning the cross-Canada run two months before Dostaler stepped onto the Trans-Canada Highway in March 2015.
“She does everything that is needed, logistics, planning, driving the support vehicle and has had a vital impact on the outcome of this event,” shared Dostaler.
In the end, Dostaler will have run over 27,000K over 17 months in all four seasons. He will be the only runner to do it by the time that he and Hughes and Buchner, with Heather driving the support vehicle, arrive at Clover Point on Saturday at 3:00 PM.