Day #6: September 15th– 69 km in 14hrs ending @ map 25 Duncan Coves

What a day! These pictures and videos will speak for themselves. Hold on for the ride because this is the epitome of what an emotional roller coaster  looks like when chronicled.

This is how the day started…

Thanks for that update crew team! …. then I”m on the phone with Velma, both of us a slobbering snotty mess, remembering back to how sick she was and how helpless our whole family felt. But then the next text I get is this….

Clickety clack, clickety clack, back UP the tracks we go.

Pacers Caitlin , Brenda & Kathleen
All through each day trainer Cathy is keeping updated. Here is a sample dialogue between her and the captains;

On 2015-09-15 12:56 PM, cathy gallagher wrote:

So I’m curious how her injuries are holding up knee and ankle as well as if you could get hold of a scale of Denise has one? Her weight started at 130 three days in 133…And of course how she is holding up.  Thanks  Cathy

On Sep 15, 2015, at 2:49 PM, Barb Campbell wrote:

I think Denise has a scale at the chalet. If not, I could bring one up. (Leaving around 6 p.m.) I’m not going to see her till tonight but Denise can give you the report on today, then I’ll keep you updated on Wed/Thurs.  Thanks, Barb

On Sep 15, 2015, at 3:16 PM, Denise wrote:

I do not have a scale. She has a ton of tears today.  Emotions are playing havoc. Definitely swelling up also. I will see her in about 45 min for a sit down break and up date you after. I am just about to call the massage therapist to see what is the latest time they can come. Barb I will txt when close so you can start the oven and start cooking the pizza I have in the fridge. Also you might want to bring some type of sandwich item for her tomorrow. You will for sure be starting in kolopore (ish) and not sure if you can access stores in the morning part of the day. Please excuse spelling errors! 

From: cathy gallagher <> Date: September 15, 2015 at 4:00:00 PM

Obvious emotions or are injuries starting to emerge? Also you mentioned she is not eating as much as you would like probably affecting her as well … She was always most fearful of this section as she told me on our first day she feared that tendons would emerge again with all the climbing. She’s probably remembering the pain from her three day..Hope swelling isn’t too bad….

 illustration by pacer Christina



Virginia spent another day with a super duper crew. Many thanks to Caitlin Pietras, Brenda East, Kathleen Power, Jamie Gibb and Captain Denise Rispolie.

Important** Virginia needs more pacers for the homestretch next week (St Catherines to Niagra). Contact


Virginia finished strong at the 420.7th kilometer. Yahoooooooo!

I don’t want to make this blog too long but I have one more story. …

So this morning I get an email from some lady named Joany Verschuuren, asking me to “ please get this note of encouragement below from Ray Zahab to Virginia today – I think it will be spirit lifting!!!” — Before reading any further I think to myself, does this broad know how many ‘spirit lifting’ notes followers are asking me to pass on?  I don’t have time for this and Gin doesn’t need me distracting her. Her crew team is doing a great job with her spirits.  I quickly skimmed over the man’s note before I went to wipe my 3 year old’s bum who had been screaming from the bathroom.

The note read;

 Hey Virginia!!!!

Day 6 of an incredible adventure?!! You are amazing!!! I just wanted to write you a quick note to say thank you. Not just for your efforts in raising awareness for mental health, not just for your amazing feat of endurance, but a big thank you for being a shining example to others that we all can be extraordinary, and with tremendous grit and energy we can move mountains. You are a rock star, and I’m sending you big hugs! Btw, it’s going to be warm today- so I’ve attached a photo from one of my ‘cold’ expeditions to hopefully cool you off a bit!!! Siberia, 2010. Keep rocking!


Ray Zahab


I’m thinking… Nice picture. But buddy, right now, Virginia needs a photo of your little winter stroll, about as much as a fish needs a bicycle!!!  Thankfully a crew captain on the email sent a more appropriate response then mine would have been (if I had got around to it)

… [sound of throat clearing] So I googled Mr. I Love Tobogganing. Key words come at me like  National Geographic…. Mat Damon’s documentary… 7500km’s in 111days …in dessert…….. Let’s just say this guy is kind of a BIG deal.  Ray Zahab is to marathon running like Crosby is to hockey. He also is an author, youth advocate, and motivational speaker…. Just look him up for yourself so I don’t have to embarrass myself any further… And while you’re there look up the ‘broad’ ‘cuz she’s no slouch either.

In all seriousness, it’s amazing to have a high calibre athlete and person such as Ray Zahab reaching out to cheer Virginia on. Thanks Ray. I know your note, like all the others we are receiving, will help keep Virginia pushing forward towards her goal.

The outpouring of support has been amazing. PLEASE keep it all coming. When I get a chance I’ll go through the messages and try to send some that the captains can read to Virginia during her refuel stops.

As of today VirginiavsBruce has raised $10630.00 for mental health awareness!!!!

Thank you!!!!


5 responses to “Day #6: September 15th– 69 km in 14hrs ending @ map 25 Duncan Coves”

  1. VIRGINA!! Buddy – you are so amazing. Your Colleen is jumping on a plane tomorrow and is bring tonnes of Alberta love your way!! I am watching for your updates every second and cheering you on like mad! xoxox Colleen’s friend Jody

  2. wow! I am amazed at your strength both emotional and physical every day of this journey. You are inspiring people every day while raising money and awareness for an important cause. I am in awe of you Virginia! You go girl and continue being you

  3. Way to go Virginia! You’re amazing! I am following your adventure and cheering you on. Keep it up! GO VIRGINIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. you rock! wow!
    one marathon on the trail is like two on the road.
    you are amazing and going at an amazing pace.
    keep it going… at what ever pace you will finish, you are a winner.

  5. Hi Virginia,
    Just got home from camping at Camp Croker. We met you at the top of the steel ladder and you looked just fantastic. You are an inspiration to all of us who care about people and our beautiful wilderness. Beth and I wish you all the best and we are following you as you make your way home. You are the best.

    Fred and Beth

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