Day 12: September 21st– 65.7km in 14hrs ending @ Map 8 Dundas Valley

Giddy-up Ginny!! Yee haw!  What a ride this is. Can you even stand it?!  She has gone 793km and has 114km left to go!!! (Turns out this run is a little longer than we thought!)

Today’s start was a little shaky….  Virginia’s self-doubt had snuck up again. She was completely overwhelmed by the support around her….feeling so gracious but now questioning whether she deserved it all.  She was down. But you know our Ginny–If she’s going to fall eleven times it’s a guarantee she’ll get up twelve. In the end it was the support that kick started her to finish another kick-ass day. Today was all about support.

Here is a video where the flood gates are wiiiiide open. My sister does not typically cry like this over underwear…although lululemon has sweet underwear. Remember, its  about more than the underwear…

The key turning point was when the Hayden High School (where she use to teach) cross country running team showed up to pace her. She forgot all her worries when she saw them and started to catch up with her old student Jessica. Check out these two videos…

I’m almost nervous before I write the thank you list because I don’t want to miss anyone.

-Andrea & Magdin who I forgot to thank for pacing yesterday

-Joany Verschuuren who was co-captained yesterday and today & kept everyone’s head on straight

-Steve Forrest who literally came out of the darkness this morning to take stride

-Lori Ference who ran much further than what was planned

-Sarah Grahm the “lulu lady” who stuck around to shuttle pacers & run out to buy Gin’s energy powder

-Cathy Gallagher the trainer/pacer who is the main juggler of this balancing act (the bomb!)

-Velma Vos who simply came back! …& is a pro now with captaining and pacing.

-Barb Campbell who was back AGAIN to pace (love to know her mileage)

-Julie Parent who finished the day with Vel & Gin and helped guide the Cape Bretoners to the end of the dark trail with just one working headlamp

-Ray Gingras — Gin’s most steadfast support of all

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I even need to thank my own friends for spreading the word of Virginia’s vision. My friend Michelle’s in-laws, Sandra and Terry Calder (who happens to be a zone coordinator for the trail) tracked Virginia down so that they could cheer her on from the sidelines. Words of encouragement are behind each one of Gin’s steps. My friend Rebecca Swatton ‘s aunt & uncle who live in the area, offered a place to stay today. I spoke to Velma tonight and she said the hospitality of Cathy Lee and Chuck Malcolmson was “unbelievable…just unbelievable!”

All this outpouring of support and enthusiasm for the Virginia vs Bruce mission is a perfect example of how; “The more you give, the more you receive.” Ah, ya Gin, you’ve done a lot. You deserve to welcome it all.

Some of you might be wondering what more you can do. Great, you’ve already made a donation. But, what else?  Does Lisa Lightbourn-Lay (captain & pacer) have an idea for you –A virtual run! …. Here is her proposal….It sounds so fun!!!

Last August I was a part of a huge adventure with an amazing woman who ran the Bruce Trail. Rhonda-Marie Avery ran some 885km for 20 days with 8% vision. She ran with the support of over 50 guide runners and volunteers. Rhonda was doing her run to raise awareness for “other-abled” athletes. 

This year I was introduced to Virginia Cann. A teacher, mom, and amazing athlete raising funds and awareness for mental health and youth. I’ve been lucky enough to run with Virginia for 2 of her planned 13+ days on the Bruce. We spoke about a lot of things on the trail but a couple of things I will share because it means something for everyone. What I realized through Rhonda-Marie and what I saw in Cody Gillies and now Virginia Cann is this: running close to 900km is no easy feat. No matter how great of a runner you are, no matter how amazing your team is (and trust me you need a great support crew!) … the reason, the purpose of the run HAS to be bigger than you. If it isn’t… there is no Bruce Trail end to end. I have been lucky enough to meet in person or virtually people like Ray Zahab of I2P and Stephanie Case of Free to Run, and like Virginia and Rhonda-Marie are doing some amazing things in the running world but its ALWAYS something bigger than them. Here is where YOU can be a part of something bigger than yourself.

This week Virginia will be running her final leg of the Bruce that ends in Niagara. Not everyone can be out on the trail with her. But you can do a “virtual” run to the the finish with her. We are asking all of you to run on one of the last 2 days with Virginia to keep her going. Run anywhere. Any distance.Take a pic. Post it on the VirginiaVSBruce Facebook page and hashtag it #virginiavsbruce and #sweatforthis. Help Virginia do this amazing thing! Do it for Virginia, do it for someone in your life, do it for anyone you know who has suffered from depression or has been “othered”. Be a part of something big. Go Virginia go!!

Great idea Lisa! What a wonderful way to support Virginia and her cause. Ideally, the more we can get out on Tuesday the 22nd the better. Spread the word everyone and dust off your running/walking shoes and sweat bands!

Tomorrow will be one of the biggest days of this whole endeavor. Stay tuned…. anything could happen.

Happy Virtual Running

Vicki 🙂

PS Last but not least I want to share one more thing. Here is an email from Virginia’s friend/pacer. Read it and you will realize one of the reasons why Gin thought she could do this …. It’s because she’s surrounded by people like this….

Hi Vicki,

I am Virginia’s friend Andreea. I ran with her Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon and evening. I wanted to share a few things for her blog if you think they are worthwhile adding.  

Virginia, an amazing person I am lucky to call my friend continues to inspire us and break barriers that I did not think would be broken. In the beginning I was terrified that this tiny person could run the distance of the Bruce Trail. I worry too much some times and this journey worried me. Naturally when it was time for her to pass through Halton towards Niagara I had to jump in. 

I joined Virginia on Saturday, after 4 PM when her quad was sore and she ran the last 15 km with a super sore quad, a swollen knee but with a smile on her face. This woman did not know fear. She kept saying – fear is just pain leaving the body. As I tucked her in bed that night I could not stop thinking how she runs for all of us. As a former victim of an eating disorder I understand that this run is bigger than one person. It takes a village to heal a person. She is running for all of us. She is running to bring us together. 

Sunday morning day 11 came – she woke up ( startling me I may say) at 4:30 ready to jump on the trail. I had a hard time keeping up with her . Her friend, coach and captain Caty Gallagher had to change all the plans for a much earlier start than anticipated.  It was going to be a good day. A great day. 

And it was. Along the trail , around Limehouse, we met with a couple of runners and their dogs. They decided to run. Than the party just got bigger and bigger. By the afternoon when I rejoined she looked like all her pick-up lines were put to good use, since she had quite the group of handsome man tending to her needs at a rest stop. From there we giggled and laughed. Laura Gatey kept reminding her – “ you have nowhere to go , no other plans, just one step in front of the other and enjoy”. What an amazing message.

Towards the evening we were more worried about the coach and captain Cathy, who kept asking Virginia to be careful, just to bump and stumble herself 30 seconds later. 

IT was a great day. As I drove her back to Roy and Linda’s house for the evening I just watched her checking her videos, emailing you pictures and notes for the day. After 13 hours on the trail , this woman still had the logistical senses of recoding the day’s adventure. She was calm, collected, in pain but a joy to be around. Roy and Linda, two amazing people took such good care of Virginia both days of the weekend. She got her Rockstar treatment and rest in the most comfortable mattress I ever experienced. 

This morning on my way to work, on day 12 I had to stop and give her a hug. She is making her way towards Dundas , through Mount Nemo and it is another beautiful day . 

I want to tell Virginia that her run her adventure IS THE RECORD. Not the number of kilometers, not the number of days. She has managed in a short amount of time to connect more people , to encourage more people to run with each other than anybody I know. This tiny , amazing, fierce, stubborn, funny, loving woman manages every day to meet new people, share her story, promote mental health in youth and get the people around her to improve their lives by running alongside her. 

Thank you Virginia for running for all of us. Remember the people along this journey, the lives you’ve touched for ever and ever and know that you are OUR HERO. I could not be more proud, humbled by your journey and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for having us part of this experience. 

I got to say I miss you already and will try to sneak in as many visits as I can. 

Remember, nowhere to be, one foot in front of the other and enjoy. Today it will be an amazing day because you will touch at least one more life.

Andreea Stoica

5 responses to “Day 12: September 21st– 65.7km in 14hrs ending @ Map 8 Dundas Valley”

  1. Woo hoo Gin!! Day 12 at beautiful Dundas Valley. See you at the Finish line in Niagara 🙂

  2. Cathy lee, Janice Swatton's sister and Rebecca Swatton's aunt Avatar
    Cathy lee, Janice Swatton’s sister and Rebecca Swatton’s aunt

    beautiful blog, could not be said any better. GO GO GO

  3. you go girl, !! ultra running is an easy schedule to follow.

    “first you start at the beginning, keep going till you get to the end, and then you stop”


  4. Christine Mossman Avatar
    Christine Mossman

    V you are an amazing insipration and I have such respect for you and your team. My Dad, Ross is great friends with your Dad and your family has been more than kind to mine. We too, have a son that suffers from Mental illness and the poverty and isolation that is associated with it is the unseen tragedy. He, on his latest hospital visit for the last three months was introduced to wilderness outings which help build self esteem and experieces for folks that may not have the opportunity to do so and also breaks the monotony of his 3 month hospital stay. I wish you much success and am very proud to follow your journey and share with anyone who will listen to the message you are sharing. Best wishes and kudo’s to you.

    C Mossman

  5. Hi Virginia, you are a great inspiration, I know you will do this. Today was another ” Happening ” in my own journey.
    Just so happened that the planning for our final leg of the hike included a visit to the winery selling the BTC wine. My job took me right to the winery and the timing let me cruse by Beth’s plaque. Heading up Mountainview road I saw your sister, you have a great family and support team.
    I had to stop and drop off some BTC wine.
    Hope you enjoy it and Bill, Sharon and I would love to get together after we are complete ( Oct 9th ). So many stories and we have talked about you and our friend Marie Maisson from Holland who we also met on the trail. She hiked for her sister and all who have ALS.
    Our mission is for Beth and the Bruce, yours for Mental Health and Marie’s for ALS. All truly wonderful goals.
    We are bethsbootsahiking, Marie is A walk of kindness and along with virginiavsbruce we will make a difference.

    Pura Vida

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