PERSONAL TRAINER/HEAD CAPTAIN:
Virginia is trained by Cathy Gallagher, a Certified Personal Trainer with over 15 years of experience in the fitness industry. She owns and operates Energize Fitness: www.energizefitness.com Cathy’s gruelling workouts, unique ability to motivate people to achieve their individual excellence, coupled with her extensive knowledge/experience with Ultra Running make her an invaluable asset in Virginia’s training regime. Cathy will be joining Virginia on various routes along the way and is taking on the task of organizing all Captains, pacers and support.
“I have had the pleasure of training and preparing Virginia over the last year and a half for ultra trail running.Incorporating strength training to her program has kept Virginia motivated, injury free and able to get the miles in on the trail!Virginia is dedicated, hard working, passionate and determined and when she sets a goal she acheives it.”
~ Cathy Gallagher
Velma Vos and Ray Gingras (Day 1-4):
Velma Vos, my sister, and Ray Gingras, my husband, will join me for the first 4 days. Velma is the reason why I am here today. She took me in when I was very sick years ago and helped to give me the confidence to seek help. She never judged me, but instead loved me unconditionally. She loved me despite my illness and never once tried to fix me. In her eyes, I was special and important regardless of my actions, thoughts or lack of belief in myself during this time. Although she is a Mom to 5 children and helps run the family dairy farm, she dropped everything to be with me for this adventure – flying all the way from Prince Edward Island.
Ray is the reason I continue to live with such passion and love for life. He is my husband, father to my children and my rock. Our marriage is nowhere near perfect. What marriage is? But we commit everyday to build each other up and grow as a family. In my eyes, our marriage is “our” perfect – filled with love, obstacles and a commitment to help each other follow our dreams. We fight – we argue – we love – we laugh – we live to our fullest – together! During difficult times, we try to remember that we are a team – where one of us give more than the other or vice versa! Above all, if something is not working as a family, we change what we are doing. We have learned that finding “time for each other” is what allows things to mend.
Virginia Houston (Day 4, 5):
Virginia, also known as V2, has been an amazing, loyal friend. We have spent numerous hours running on the trails together and have shared wonderful memories. Although she is a mother of three young children, she always finds the time for trail running. She has completed half marathons, numerous trail races and ends each one with a huge smile and hugs from her children. She brings to this adventure a positive attitude, strong belief in finishing what your start and an unique ability to multi task. Knowing she will be at Day 5 gives me that extra push to get there.
Denise Rispolie and Barb Campbell(Day 6,7,8):
Denise is an very experienced Ultra Runner with a list of ultra runs and adventure races longer than I can even begin to write. 50 km, 100 km & 100 miles all seem to be done with ease for her. She has competed all over the world, including respected races like Leadville. Denise was my support for my very first 80 km Ultra, giving me invaluable advice that allowed me to be successful. She has used her knowledge and experience in the Ultra world to pass along key information for Virginia Vs Bruce. Although she is a mom of a 4 year old and one year old twins, she continues to race often, competing in two 50 milers this summer: Collingwood Endurance Challenge and Fat Dog in BC.
Barb, another adventure racer and ultra runner, also has an impressive LONG list of races. She recently completed the Eiger 100km Ultra Trail in July, tackling a 5280m vertical. For the last couple of months, Barb has continuously gave me solid advice, always remembering small details that will matter! She is known for her positive attitude and giving spirit – both of which will help me through the days she is my captain. I am very lucky to have both these ladies in my corner!
On day 7 I will be pumped! Colleen, my best friend since high school and a Mom to young children, is flying all the way from Alberta to help support this adventure and captain three days for me. She has celebrated with me at my best, held me up at my worst and showed me time and time again through actions that she loves me just as I am. She has never judged my actions, even the ones I care not to remember, but instead stuck by meand gave me unconditional support. Day 7 will be tough – half way mark – but with Colleen by my side I am sure to succeed. Thank you Colleen, for going above and beyond yet again as a friend!
Christinia Dirago (Day 12):
Christinia, also my cousin, is another friend who has graciously offered her time to help this cause. Not only has she agreed to be captain for a day, but she was helped with brainstorming ideas and making key connections to help bring Virginia Vs Bruce to life. Strong willed and always giving 150% in anything she does, I know that when I am tired and sore in those last days, she will help me find the strength to continue. Christinia never has excuses for why she can not do something, instead she finds a solution and dives head first without the fear of failure. It is for this reason that I know she will keep me strong, focused and optimistic about my goal, even on Day 12. I can’t wait to see her near the finish line!
“RULES OF ENGAGEMENT” FOR THE RUN:
Below is the list of personal rules that I will follow for this End to End attempt.
- I will follow the Bruce Trail exactly as it was specified on the date I pass through. This means I will take all reroutes outlined by the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC), respecting their rules and regulations along the way.
- I plan to run the Bruce Trail using support typical of a stage race with aid stations. I will meet my support crew at regular intervals to replenish food, water and first aid supplies, and we will drive together to our accommodation each night. Each morning they will bring me back to the place I stopped running the day before.
- On the trail between meetings with my support crew, I will be self-sufficient, carrying all my own food, water, extra clothing and first aid supplies. I hope to share the trail with many running companions – both old friends and new – but I will not take any supplies or physical assistance from them, except in an emergency. In fact, this reflects my journey back to health. I was surrounded by people who cared and helped me when they could but I needed to draw on my own strength to travel that difficult path.