Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Quest:

  • Comrades Quest 89

  • The Comrades Marathon (89km)
  • Sunday May 29th 2011
  • Durban to Pietermaritzburg
  • South Africa
  • Days to go: 13
  • Finish Time (target): 11hrs 59 mins 59secs
  • Finish Time (actual):

The highlight of Marathon Quest 250 was running at schools, with the kids. Over the year I ran at 60 schools, with over 12,000 children. The schools were located in Cochrane, Calgary, Airdrie, Canmore, Exshaw and I even flew to Yellowknife to run at a couple of schools. I would arrive at a school and usually there would be an assembly where I would explain what I was doing and why. The kids were always interested in my bike trip across Africa and how Right To Play helps children around the world. I would then head outside and start running around their soccer or ball field 100 times. The marathon would take between 5 ½ and 6 hours and the kids would come out and join me for a few loops at first recess, lunch recess and at the end of the day. Some schools even scheduled their phys.ed. classes so that the kids could run during school time.

It is amazing, the topics that crop up when you run and chat with kids. Try getting them to talk in a classroom and some of them are as quiet as church mice. Get them running around a soccer field and they can't stop talking. Over the 60 school marathons I completed, three topics came up time and again; food, pets and favourite TV shows. I would stress the importance of a good breakfast, however, pizza seemed to be the food of choice. The variety of animals these children have in their homes blew me away. In some cases, I'm hesitant to use the term "pet." Are lizards and tarantula's classed as pets or do some children have mini zoos?  Two TV shows kept coming up; "Heartland", and "Mantracker". I told the kids I knew about Heartland, because Sue and I had done some extras work on several episodes. I asked them if they recognized me and they said no. I hadn't heard of Mantracker so the kids told me that it was a man (Mantracker) on a horse, who hunts two human "prey" across really tough terrain. They said I could beat Mantracker. So, I told them that I would check into it, once I'd finished my marathons.

In early February of this year, I started running on the treadmill and needed something to watch. I found "Mantracker" on the schedule and decided to check it out. It is brilliant. I recorded 27 episodes. The content is a bit repetitive, but the scenery is amazing. It's a Canadian production and they've done shows right across the country. In each segment Mantracker , Terry Grant, on his faithful steed, attempts to catch  the "prey" within thirty-six hours , before they reach the finish line, thirty-nine kilometres away. Last week I talked to my running buddy, Roy Ellis. He is an Ultramarathoner and, like me enjoys a challenge. He didn't take much convincing, when I suggested we take on Mantracker. Our application is in the mail. We also had to send in a video, so check it out . If you think Roy and I should be on the show then send Mantracker an email at and tell him why.

Happy hunting.

Dr Randolph Randolph's book of animal jokes (Bees)

Q: What's a bees favorite flower?
A: A bee-gonias!

Quote of the Day

"A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse".

Shakespeare's Richard III, 1594 and Mantraker, 2007

Mantraker and his sidekick Neil take a rest after chasing Roy "The Rabbit" Ellis and Martin "Marathon Man" Parnell


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