Bonsai the Don

Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Events:

3rd Annual Marathon Quest 250 Run / Walk

  • Monday December 31st 2012

  • 9.00pm to 3.00pm

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

Hockey Quest 500 (Quest #6)

  • Saturday January 19th 2013

  • 8.00am to 5.00pm

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

On my recent trip to Toronto I had three objectives. Take a copy of MARATHON QUEST and give it to Right To Play CEO, Johann Koss; complete in Bonsai the Don, a trail race with a twist and run the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon. I flew out on Thursday morning and was feeling a little fatigued. The previous Sunday a group of 24 players from the Cochrane Rangers had broken the Guinness World Record for the longest game of 5-a-side soccer. It had gone on for over 42 hours and I was still feeling the effects.

My meeting with Johann was scheduled for 11.30am on Friday and Sarah, my RTP contact, took me up to his office. She knocked on his door and he came out joined by Clara Hughes. Clara was one of my inspirations for working with Right To Play. In 2006, after winning gold in the Turin Winter Olympics, she donated $10,000 to the organization to provide play based programs for many children. Luckily I had brought another book and was happy to sign it for her.

In the afternoon I had to head down to the marathon expo and pick up my race package. At the Running Room booth I chatted with John Stanton. John had been good enough to write a review for the book. It was then over to the speaker stage where I talked to one of my all time heroes Faugh Singh. Last year, at the age of 100, Fauja ran a marathon, the first centenarian ever to do so. This year he was going to run a 5km "Victory Lap". Good for him.

On Saturday I headed to the Don Valley Parkway for a very special event. A group called "Preparing the Trail" had organized a four hour trail run. This could be done in teams or solo. My buddy David and I decided to do it solo. The twist  was that at some point during the race we had to each plant two trees. "Preparing the Trail" is a grass-roots, environmentally active, not-for-profit organization that use the power of sport to educate and empower a growing movement of environmental aware individuals, while supporting charitable partners Right To Play and Trees Ontario.

The 5.5km loop was through the Don Valley's Crother's Woods Trail. The scenery was spectacular and km after km ticked by. The race was reduced to 3 hours due to a late start but David hammered out 30km and finished first. His prize, a Bonsia tree. I completed 19km, just the right amount ahead of Sunday's marathon.

Sunday morning came around quick enough and the rain was hammering down. David was suffering after his trail race and he dropped me off at the start. I chatted with Jerry in the purple coral. It was his first half marathon and I wished him all the best. As the gun went off the rain stopped and 24,000 of us headed out on the streets of Toronto. I planned to run a 5 hour marathon but I felt good and ran a faster pace. The effects of the trail race started to hit me as I crossed in the 30 plus km zone. I hung in and finished in 4 hours 40 minutes 28 seconds.

Another good day at the office.

Quote of the Day

"If you have enough willpower and you want something bad enough, you can get your body to do enough anything, anything."

Jonathan Boyer

At the Toronto Marathon expo I was thrilled to meet 101 year old marathon runner Faugh Singh and give him a copy of MARATHON QUEST.

Fauja Singh

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