The Decade by the Numbers

Posted by martin.parnell |
The Decade by the Numbers

As 2019 comes to an end so the clock ticks over into 2020. With this comes the end of a decade: 10 years / 3652 days. It seems like a heartbeat ago that I was standing on a road outside of Cochrane, Alberta, at 9.00am on January 1st 2010 at the start line of Marathon Quest 250. 

When we arrived at Highway 1A and Horse Creek Road, a group of friends from the Cochrane Red Rock Running & Tri Club were there waiting for me. They had decided to run the first marathon with me, it was -30C and I was pleased to see that the temperature hadn't stopped them. Mayor Truper McBride and some other town councillors were also there, as were news reporters from the Cochrane Times and Eagle and crews from CTV and CBC. 

Mayor McBride said a few words and Sue took some photos. In one of them, my five running mates and I smiled madly for the camera. My friends were smiling because they had one marathon to run and were feeling excited at the start line. I was smiling because that is what you do when someone says, "Say cheese!" Even now, when I look at that photo, I remember what I was really thinking: "What the hell am I doing?" 

So let’s see what happened between then and now with “The Decade by the Numbers”: 

1 Grandchild: Matthew age 5

2 Health scares: a clot on the brain and a stroke

3 Books: Marathon Quest, Running to the Edge and The Secret Marathon

4 Film Festivals: Cinefest, Edmonton, Zonta and Calgary Underground

5 Guinness World Records in Netball, Lacrosse, Indoor Soccer, Ice and Ball Hockey

6 Afghan women and girls running the 2016 Marathon of Afghanistan

10 Year end Events: Right To Play, a Playground, Free to Run and Boys & Girls Club

16 Minutes in TEDx YYC “Life is a Relay” presentation.

17 Countries participated in The Secret Marathon 3k in 2019

19 Minutes in “The Ageless Athlete” documentary

21 Hours to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet)

64 Years old on December 19th 2019

77 Minutes in “The Secret Marathon” documentary

250 Marathons run in one year

1,014 Kilometres run along the coast of England in 25 days

27,340 Children given the gift of hope from the $1.3m raised for Right To Play.

28,218 Kilometres run in 10 years (7.73 kms / day) 

As the next decade begins I’m looking ahead to see what’s coming next. On April 20th I’m running the Boston Marathon so it’s time to crank up the training program. This means heading out on a new journey, one step at a time. 

About the Author

Martin Parnell is the Best-Selling author of MARATHON QUEST and RUNNING TO THE EDGE and his final book in the Marathon Trilogy, THE SECRET MARATHON-Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan through sport, was released on October 30th 2018. He speaks on having a “Finish the Race Attitude – Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Your Full Potential” and has written for, or been covered by CNNBBCCBCThe Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Runners World, Men’s Journal, Canadian Business, and Maclean’s.

In a five year period, from 2010 to 2014, Martin completed 10 extreme endurance “Quests” including running 250 marathons in one year and raising $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play. In 2016 he ran the Marathon of Afghanistan in support of Afghan women and girls running for equality and his film “The Secret Marathon” will be out in late 2019. Find out more about Martin at  and see what he can do for you in the long run.

comments powered by Disqus