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March 15th update

How can a person spend one year in preparation for a trip, and still be doing everything at the last minute? Someone please tell me how this is possible. And I’m an organized person!

It’s three days to leaving and I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. Am I supposed to be excited, nervous, confused, panicked, happy, sad or all of these? From doing special events in the past, I know that all things seem to work out just fine, so I’m not too concerned about all the things that need doing. They get done. Life goes on. People run across continents fairly often these days. Surely it’s not that tricky…

My friend and nutritionist, Cheri Kutynec, has sent me my nutritional rules which focus around eating lots of food and drinking lots of water. She says if I forget to do these two important things, that sadness may occur, among other things. Actually, she’s been quite helpful in working with me on my diet for the trip, and now it’s up to me.

My friend and roommate, Melanie Dekker, has written a song to commemorate the trip. It’s called "There", and I intend to play it at radio stations that interview me along the way. If you want to hear it, Rob is trying to figure out how to set it up so you can download it from the website. Isn’t he potentially great? Mel’s already there, it’s an awesome song.

Since I have not heard from them for a month, I called Vancouver City Hall. The mayors office finally told me that the deputy mayor would not be available for the launch ceremony. In fact, none of the councilors are available since it’s spring break. I suggested that I could have been notified of that back in January when I first made my request and perhaps I could have changed the date. The receptionist said it wasn’t her fault so please don’t blame her. With that, the conversation had reached its conclusion. So I have now decided to have Jono dress up as a Mayor to give me a send-off. What the heck…

The great permit hunt at Hope, BC continues. On March 12th, I was told I could not go on my intended route. That’s plenty of notice since they had given me permission to run on it way back on September 21st, 1998. They have a suggested detour that would take me about 120k out of my way. This is to avoid a 5k section of highway that is indistinguishable from the rest of the highway, and bicycles are permitted on it anyway. What a planet… We’re working it out.

I have given up trying to obtain permission in some other provinces. I’ll just go. What could happen? At least I tried…

According to the Society Act of BC, we were obligated to have an Annual General Meeting before I left, so 8 of us got together and pretended we knew how to run an AGM. We cooked a veggie lasagna, had some beer and wine, played a neat game, and signed a whimsical document that said everything is okay. That should do it.

I’ve reminded the Millennium Bureau that I’m kind of leaving soon. They have yet to respond to my proposal from October. Their decision affects quite a bit of stuff, so I’m hanging by a wet noodle over a vat of boiling cheese on that one. Surely they will provide me with the paltry amount I’ve requested. Surely they will…Surely…

Still trying to figure out how to do the shipping things since some towns and cities have not responded to my request to use them as a shipping address. Still don’t have a shipping partner so we’re toying with the idea of putting a trailer on the RoadRunner. Just joking…

The RoadRunner is bright mango orange now. It’s stunning and makes me think that everything is going to be alright. This is an illusion that I will hold on to desperately, so please do not point out any flaws in my thinking. Looking at the amount of things left to do on it, I suspect that time will be my biggest hurdle as I prepare to depart. So I’m going to wear a watch that doesn’t work which should help a little…

I received all my fantastic Running Room gear! Oh, how they have set me up with colour and style. True artists and fantastic sponsors. So I went to their City Square Vancouver store Sunday morning to speak to the marathon training clinic to thank the Running Room for their support.

Then I got all my slide film from Black’s. Holy smokes, things are coming together. Rob has been working out the details with the Black’s webmaster in case anyone will want to order a photo from the Running Into 2000 archives. Please check it out from time to time.

With all the new gadgets on the RoadRunner, it’s increasingly challenging to get it into doors, and up the office stairway, so as a birthday present Rob & Carolyn gave me a panel van rental for the last 4 days prior to my leaving. This has made leaving look actually possible.

Prior to having the vehicle, I had to get the RoadRunner down to a local TV station the night before an early morning TV show. We manipulated it through the hallways of VTV in what can best be described as a nightmare scenario. The RoadRunner is 8 feet long. The freight elevator is not. The hallways have kinks in them that had us pulling out our calculators to figure out. But like all things, it worked out just fine. The show went fine as I pretended to cook banana bread (which reminds me that I still have the batter mix in my backpack…oops), then I pulled out a real banana bread that I’d made the night before. This was a good solution to actually cooking since I have yet to experiment with either of my new stoves.

Randy at The Backpackers Shop set me up with a couple of stoves at wholesale prices. One is a multi-fuel and the other is a no fuel. The no fuel is a rig that uses pine cones and sticks and dung or whatever. I’ll take this in case my other one fouls up or I spill all my fuel, or what the heck, maybe I’ll come across a big pile of dung that I’d like to dispose of. Who knows how my mind will work later?

We did another piece for VTV weekend news where Nicola and Steve came to the office to ask us about the website interaction for the trip. We had a lot of fun during the interview. Steve, the camera guy stood in the RoadRunner basket with his camera filming me as I pulled him along. That was about 230 pounds and the RoadRunner worked great. This is good news… Anyway, Nicola made the piece into a kind of "Hey, this is weird!" thing which was pretty funny. I love the fact that I don’t have a serious charity or mission that might restrict my playfulness. Of course, that means I’ll come out looking pretty strange sometimes, but that’s okay.

Monday & Tuesday include finalizing the following: t-shirts, stickers, kitchen plan, communications plan, office shut down, packing office, packing home, moving home, RoadRunner headset, RoadRunner rear bracket, RoadRunner running lights, weather dome, dried food supplies, music selection, solar panels, battery needs, local TV & radio shows, school visits program, harness details, media kits, time lapse video, webbed seat, business cards, accommodations in St. John’s, finances, what gear to bring, what gear to ship, where to ship it, how to ship it, maybe a bit of running, saying my goodbyes and lots of little bitty things that I won’t bore you with. At least I have a good attitude (and a van!).

As I go through my last couple of days in Vancouver, I’m too busy with details to be thinking much about what I’m doing. The full impact of the immensity of the trip is a sensation I have yet to experience. I’m not sure if I’m numb from details or if I refuse to look at the reality of this ridiculous endeavour. Whatever it is, here I am. Here we all are, indeed. Living our own dreams and experiencing our own amazing lives.

Thank you for your wishes of support over these past few months, and I would like to wish each of you reading these words all the best in chasing your own dreams. That’s what life is for. Go to it.

Carpe Diem

Kevin Thomson

 

March 8th update

I must be the most boring person in the world to be with these days. All that’s on my mind is this crazy trip, so I’m kind of sparse in the "interesting topics" area. I’m trying to have other interests but my brain seems not to want to get distracted. So I’d like to apologize to everyone who has come in contact with me over the past few weeks. If you hang in there, I’ll try to be a bit more flexible in my topics available for discussion. But don’t count on it…

But now… Back to the Trip! Hooray! (oh, the irony…)

In a mostly unexpected announcement, Canada Post has declined my proposal. I thought this one was a no-brainer. Here I go across Canada encouraging people to ship postcards to St. John’s. I’m aiming for 50,000 to arrive which is $23,000 in revenue for Canada Post. So I ask them for a shipping credit. They said no. My initial request was for $2000 in credit, so I lowered it to $500. They said no. Unbelievable (to me). So I’m soliciting UPS and Fedex to see if one of them will be my superhero of shipping. There’s nothing in it for them like $23,000 in revenue, but maybe they’d like to help me celebrate Canada entering the new Millennium. If not, no problem. There’s always a way, isn’t there?

While I’m on this "Great Rant", the permit hunt continues – holy smokes. I have been trying for 10 days to reach someone, anyone at all, in 3 certain provinces that shall remain nameless. Nothing. Getting nowhere. Still, I am determined to celebrate them anyway. Hooray for all the unnamed provinces! That’s the kind of guy I am. I will not stoop to being upset, but I will celebrate them in spite of themselves. Because when it comes right down to it, the provinces are not represented by the bureaucratic processes they devise, but rather by the people who reside therein. I will celebrate the people and places of Canada. Simple. Easy. Hooray.

The good people at the Confederation Bridge have offered to haul me across in a pickup truck on November 10th. They have been so accommodating, and the bridge crossing will be a highlight for me, even though it will be the only place along the route where I am not permitted to run. Except of course for the 5k at Hope, BC, but we’re still working on that.

Monisha has set me up with Daniel Frankel of Points/West Productions who is considering producing an hour long documentary of the trip. We met for a couple of hours to discuss the concept, and he came up with a most wonderful idea. He suggested a time-lapse video recording where we attach a Super8 camera to the back of the RoadRunner, pointed forward. Every minute of the road journey it would take a frame. At the end of the trip, we could edit it into a 3 to 4 minute time-lapse trip across Canada. Isn’t that sensational? Even if the documentary doesn’t come together, that little idea is the cat’s pajama’s. Does anyone have an old Super8 camera I could borrow?

Saraj at the Backpackers Shop has the weather dome almost done so Luke and I took the RoadRunner to Billy at Yess Frames for the final touches. Just in time since Gabby left for Mexico and Hunjar is leaving for Indonesia to get married and won’t be back before I leave. They were the RoadRunner’s expert welders, and we had to finish before they left. And we did!

McDonald’s decided to supply me with 2 Big Macs per week. This goes well with my doctors orders to have two red meat meals each week. Life works out just great sometimes… Thanks to Wendy Hummell in Community Relations at McDonald’s. And Adam at SuperSport has finished my amazing custom harness. It’s fully adjustable and looks like I mean business. Very deceiving.

In an unexpected display of corporate bravado, Ryders Extreme Eyewear has ponied up a bunch of sunglasses for the trip. Thanks very much to Jessica Gibson at Ryders. And of course, thanks to Ted Schredd for setting up the meeting with her. Thanks to everyone!

Monisha & I have been working on the launch ceremony, and we’re inviting the kids at Vancouver Youth Theatre to come down to City Hall on Wednesday morning to kick me in the butt to send me to St. John’s. They seem interested in such a plan. Monisha has set me up on the Vancouver Breakfast Television show on VTV. It’s live on this coming Friday where I’ll be wheeling in the RoadRunner and showing how I cook my banana bread in my portable oven setup. And Monday will be Ted, Melanie Dekker and myself live, on the Rogers Daytime Show between 10:00 and 11:00am. I’ve been on these shows before with Carpe Diem, but this time will be more like an interview of me and my dreams, than simple safety suggestions and recreational ideas. I’m pretty excited about it, and it will be good practise for the trip.

Still running, but no training days with the RoadRunner yet. Still injury free and still feeling good. As the days count down in the single digit zone, I find myself anxious to get going, and at the same time wishing the departure date was in April. It’s the same with every lifestyle change. You get a 2 for 1 deal: excitement and fear of the unknown. Two great products, same great price!

I realize that I’ll never be fully prepared for this trip, and there will always be things that I wish I had done prior to leaving. I’m fully prepared to go fairly unprepared. How could anyone possibly consider everything that could happen before it happens. Even if you could, that would take out the element of adventure. I’m anticipating a great adventure, and I’m glad to have you along for the trip.

Have a sensational week, and I look forward to sending you my last Vancouver update next week. I should be in a fragile state of mind, so forgive me now for anything weird I might say then.

Have fun!

"Coyote" Kevin Thomson

March 1st Update

I am a very musical person. I have very little talent in the area, but I love to listen. Music is the focus of this past week as I try to create some infinitely pleasing cassette tapes for the trip. So far, I have some great ones, but surely I will tire of them early on anyway. So I’m planning on doing drop-shipments to the Mayor’s offices to replenish my tunes. You’re probably thinking that I am a genius, and that’s understandable…

It’s been a very light training week due to my premature tapering due to my expected 3 day training tour with the RoadRunner which did not happen due to 10 thousand things. But even though my training may be a bit screwed up, I can relax since there’s no proven way of training for such a journey. It’s possible that I’m doing it perfectly without even knowing it.

Tuesday was a joyful day to be me. Black’s is Photography! Hooray for Black’s! Steven Poole at Black’s has decided that Running Into 2000 is worthy to support and they are helping me with all my film, processing and website scanning desires. This is fantastic. Every picture I take along the way will be available on our website. You can download it, or order it straight from Black’s and they’ll send you the photo in whatever size you want! Life is good. Rob and the Black’s webmaster are working out the details now. I call this Black Tuesday, but for entirely different reasons than "Black Thursday" of a few weeks back…

On the darker side of life, I may need a permit to travel approximately 3 kilometres on a "Schedule 1" highway around Hope, BC. Due to some slight organizational glitches in my brain, I have left the permitting to about 8 weeks past the last minute. Oops. That’s all I can really say about that. To the 10 different Ministries of Transportation, I can at least thank them for not giving me a hard time about it. Interestingly, so far no one else is planning a cross Canada run or walk or skate in 1999. Well, at least, if they are, they aren’t asking for permission.

Carl Anderson was one of the people in last weekend’s tour through the Crows Nest Highway. He noticed the windy corners and the questionable shoulders. And being a genius inventor, he has produced some amazing safety lights for rear of the RoadRunner. It’s an inverted tractor triangle with flashing LED’s that you can see from one side of Canada to the other. My rear feels more safe now… Carl has actually invented and produced a smaller version for children or runners or night walkers to wear. Hopefully, he’ll have distribution figured out soon, and I’ll let you know about it.

Without my friend Lisa MacCormack, my French documents would be the ugliest thing imaginable. Now they are perfection squared. They are done and only 12 weeks late! Maybe I should have asked Lisa a wee bit earlier?

Wednesday is Monisha day. PR day. My day to allow someone to help me vigorously. She has done so much prep work for me that I feel guilty that all I’m doing is running to St. John’s.

Luke and I picked up the RoadRunner on Thursday afternoon with its new weather dome mounts and fancy v-brake system. It made me giggly. I stayed with is all night long looking achingly at it to the wee hours. Decided to camp in the DrYad to get the whole effect. I cannot wait to get going. Soon enough, Kevin, soon enough.

It was time to get the RoadRunner to Saraj, the Weather Dome designer. This was his first look at it, and looking back, I’m thinking that it might have been wiser to include him earlier. Sure, it’s obvious to you, but where was your opinion when I needed it? So he came up with an idea. Unfortunately, his idea required Bill and Gabby at yess Frames to do some last minute, unplanned modifications, which they happily did for me on Saturday. I am sure that Bill is kicking himself for ever agreeing to help me with this thing, but he never seems to complain.

My friend, Jeff Friesen has created a masterpiece spreadsheet where I have plotted my route and schedule. The idea is that after each day of running, I simply enter my distance and voila! It tells me how much I need to do the next day to reach the town I’m heading for. This will work great if the maps I’m using are accurate. Going over them recently has caused me just a tad bit of concern. One map says it’s 145k to Hope from Vancouver, and another says it’s 127k. This is not a big deal if you’re driving, but sometimes you’re not driving… The other point to consider is how will I use a spreadsheet on the prairies? We’re thinking that Master Rob Chernenko will be the keeper of the stats and he’ll update the spreadsheet on the website with my progress.

Finally got my invitations out for the morning launch and the evening party in Maple Ridge for the 17th of March. Golly, that’s coming up soon… If I can just get the postcards, t-shirts, RoadRunner stickers, stereo, weather dome, ski system, liquid basket, steering, harness, diet, drop shipments, permits, Millennium Bureau, CBC and Canada Post figured out, I’m ready to go! No problem!

I hope your week is dazzling, and your brain makes time to giggle. What could be more important than that?

 

February 22nd Update

Well, it’s 3 weeks and 2 days to go. Holy smokes. I cannot believe all the things I have left to the last minute. I was thinking that I was organized, but my list is actually getting longer instead of shorter. Ouch… At least compared to my friend, Ted, I am organized beyond belief. He departed for his North American cycling tour without a tent! Most of his planning was the night before. He just laughs when he sees all my planning… If you want to read his book, pick up "The Cycling Adventures of Coconut Head" by Ted Schredd. It’s a wild ride.

John Durst at Patriot has gotten quite excited about the project and has set his graphics artist on the task of designing a new Running Into 2000 logo that incorporates the Patriot logo’s. It is now on the homepage if you’d like to check it out. Special thanks to Lea Thomson and Corey Roosdahl who helped me put together the original logo that served us well for 6 months.

We’re trying very hard to have everything ready for a 3 day test run from Thursday to Saturday, but I have my doubts… Why does everything take so much longer than you plan?

If you have a moment and it interests you, please check out the new Thanks page on the website or the RoadRunner page for the new specs we have listed.

I finally have all the maps I need to plan the trip properly. You’d think that I would have done this fairly early on, but I was working with a potential sponsor to help me, and they have done nothing but cause me grief, so things got a bit behind. It’s manageable.

It became apparent that a French translation would be a good idea for the materials we were sending to our friends in Quebec, so my high school buddy, Lisa MacCormack jumped in to save the day and translated the entire mailout package. See why it’s a good idea to have smart friends? But that doesn’t explain Ted… Oh yeah, he’s a fun friend!

On Tuesday it was Chinese New Years so I did my run through Chinatown where there were lots of firecrackers and smiling faces. For the first time in my life, as I was running, someone asked me if I had a light for their cigarette. It happened twice. Crazy planet…

As I was visiting with Randy at Backpackers Shop, he got in touch with his friend at Infinity Sports who opted to chip in with a –7C mummy sleeping bag for the trip. Excellent! Randy has been amazing with all his support and if you’re in Vancouver and looking for outdoor gear, I urge you to support his small and personal operation. He’s a great fellow.

I also got word from a "secret sponsor" who will give me some product, but does not wish to be identified. Apparently, they get solicited quite often and they do not wish to encourage further requests so they’re just giving me some stuff. So I can’t tell you who they are, but they’re great!

Wednesday is my Monisha day. We covered a huge amount of details like designing the T-shirt, working on the upcoming TV spots, finalizing Press Releases, working on Monisha’s potential feature articles for Outdoor Canada and McLean’s Magazine, details for the Media Kit, how to deal with the launch ceremony and other little things. Where would I be without her?

I also met with my nutritionist friend, Cheri Kutynec. She had analzyed 16 days of my training diet and found some "fascinating" things. I’m too embarrassed to tell you about them, so let’s just say that I’m making some changes to my dietary plans. She’s been incredible.

We finally sent off the Mayors letters, which is about 3 months later than I had hoped. Not bad compared to how late I’ve left other things… And way better than being late by 4 months.

Gary at Body Science is one of the most excited people on earth. He gave me 150 Fireball Energy Gel as a start for the trip and arranged for some Stealth Energy Bar samples for me to try. I love them both. I’ve tried all the energy bars and gels, and as luck would have it, these are the cat’s pajama’s. If you eat energy bars or gels, I highly suggest you try Stealth or Fireball. They are extremely delicious and apparently even nutritious! Am I starting to sound like a evangelical spokesperson? I’m trying…

It was time to try a night in the DrYad hanging tent. So I strapped it to the water pipes in the office/classroom and hunkered down (up?) for Thursday evening. Once I got used to the gentle swinging that accompanied a position change, I slept like a drugged kitten. I love it. Hugely.

Time for a holiday, so a bunch of friends headed out to the Okanagan. We drove 200k of the route that I’ll be using in March, and I have to admit that it was a bit strange. At Allison Pass (1535m) there was over 3 meters of snowbank and often no shoulder to be seen. I could not imagine carting the RoadRunner through there in these conditions, so I immediately began spitting out the window to try to melt the snow. The grade of the ascent to this mountain pass became apparent. The distances between potential campsites (for Hope to Princeton) was perfect for a 4 day trip. Unfortunately, I have scheduled this distance to be done in 3 days. Who’s in charge of this planning?

So the weekend was one of running, relaxing, laughing (Pictionary was hilarious and the proper name for Bud or Buddy is Budward), hot tubbing and some fantastic downhill skiing at Apex.

As I head into Dday minus 23, I wish you all the very best. I would like to ask any of you travelling the Crowsnest Highway from Hope to Princeton to take a few moments to stop and do a bit of shovelling for me. That would be a great help…Thanks very much!

 

 

February 15th, 1999

Transporting the RoadRunner is one of my new joys. It was time to return it back to Billy at yess Frames, and ye olde pickup driver, Lukey, wasn’t around. Fortunately, it sort of fit in Jono’s Pathfinder. This is a great piece of news for me if I get into a breakdown situation. All I need is a friendly person with a sports utility vehicle. Maybe "breaking down possibilities" is why these types of trips usually have a support vehicle? Wouldn’t that be nice…

I found out that the Millennium Bureau is completely swamped with proposals. They expected 400, and received 1700 for consideration. So if I’m lucky, they’ll be able to tell me if they’re providing any funding for the trip by March 10th. Great. I’m not counting on the extra cash, but if it comes through, it will affect a lot of things. They’ve already "endorsed" the run, but with $150 million available to celebrate Canada entering the year 2000, surely they will see fit to contribute a couple of thousand to this little celebration. It would surely help.

Tuesday was Happy Partners day. Pentax came on board with a waterproof camera (the WR90) which will be perfect for the trip. I am too excited. Christine Otani shipped it out immediately and I received it on Thursday, for goodness sakes. Then Soltek came on board with 4 solar panels to charge my batteries for running lights and stereo. Conel O’Regan is also sending a Soltek solar powered lantern (kind of a funny concept). And as if that wasn’t enough excitement, I also received the DrYad tent from Michael de Jong at Terrelogic. Then to send me into orbit, I got all my Goretex & fleece clothing from Contour Outdoor. My office is getting cluttered, but in a very good way!

Wednesday was a strange morning indeed. I rose to thousands or maybe even millions of tiny white objects hurtling to the ground. I’m told this is rain that got cold. Whatever it was, it stuck to the ground and it was everywhere! Then the sky burst open and this bright yellow thing glittered into my eyes. I ran into an elderly woman who had lived here all her life, and she told me not to worry, it’s just "the sun". Whatever it was, it made me squint and sneeze, so I went to the museum, and I stole a pair of "sun-glasses". Then I was okay. What a weird day. Then the sky went back to its normal grey and everything was okay.

Monisha Khanna continues to excite me with her public relations skills and ideas. She was considering having me dress up as a snake and have me chased out of town for the launch on St. Patrick’s Day. Apparently, this is the traditional thing with St. Patrick’s Day. Fortunately, we could not locate any snake costumes. (Doesn’t that sound just a bit tricky to try to be running in a snake costume? I thought so…)

Met with the Running Room people who gave me my first pair of shoes for the trip. It’s a bit intimidating choosing the right shoe. My old favourites are no longer available, so it’s time to make a change. I chose the New Balance 760’s, and I hope they’re the ticket. They embraced my feet and made me feel cozy and loved. I’ll be using at least 5 pairs for the trip, and I don’t want to have to make a change in mid-journey. That would not be prudent.

My training is going gangbusters. I’m at about 50 miles per week, and feeling like a gazelle. I think stretching, stairclimbing, walking and weight training are the keys. I’m sure the running helps, too. It’s kind of tricky to discover the proper training schedule for this type of thing, since there aren’t a lot of guidebooks or coaches on the subject. And everyone has their own opinions that they share with me. Which is great, of course…

And lastly, I have come to the realization that it is possible that I will starve on this trip. I have been experimenting with some meal ideas, and I have had a run of bad luck. Cooking things which are inedible will exhaust my food supply and quite likely, me. Surely, my Mom will be sending chocolate chip cookies to me on a regular basis, but what about in between shipments? I am giving a lot of thought to this right now, as I stare at my soggy banana bread soup sludge. HELP!!!!

 

February 7th, 1999

There’s a question that appears to be permanently linked to the following statement:

"Someone is running across Canada." The question is inevitably : "What’s the cause?"

It’s entirely understandable why this question would be asked. That’s because every time that you hear about someone running or inline skating or walking across this country, there is a fund-raising element connected with it. Until now.

Running Into 2000 is simply a celebration of Canada. It’s a celebration of a strong united country entering the new Millennium. It’s a celebration of optimism for the future. My main sponsor, Patriot Computer Corporation is excited about the future, and Canada’s place in that future. Together, we are travelling across the country to simply celebrate.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using a journey such as this to raise money for worthwhile causes. At the same time, there’s nothing wrong with a simple celebration either.

In this time of our planet, there are many challenges we face as a species. All of our challenges are huge and have a "Where do we begin?" aspect to their solutions. But we also have a lot to be thankful for, and to be joyful about. Let’s celebrate Canada. Let’s shine our optimism out like beams of light. Let our joy of life be unconditional and jubilant. Bring on the new Millennium. Bring on the future.

I am jubilant about my Public Relations student from Kwantlen College, Monisha Khanna. Monisha has taken Running Into 2000 on as a project, and this past week, we have made strides in securing some local television coverage. She is writing articles, and press releases, and goodness knows what else. She is making this very easy for me. Hooray!

Then there’s "Black Thursday." I don’t want to pretend that all the preparation for this little trip is easy. There are good days, there are not so good days, and there’s "Black Thursday". This was a day where nothing good happened. Every phone call was a nightmare. (My apologies to you if you called me on Thursday and didn’t think you were a nightmare, but you were. Everything was. That’s just the kind of day it was. So there.) But that’s over now. It made it’s way nicely into Fabulous Friday, as these days always seem to do. Thanks to Ted and Luke who shone their beams of light into my Black Thursday.

I love Vancouver. I used to think it was a big city. But last week, I was sitting with Michael Leger at Spirit Designs who will be printing up 144 t-shirts for me (available for $15, and you should all buy one to save the world from sadness). As we were having a meeting, who should show up but my harness builder, Adam Kosnicki from Super Sport! Turns out they know each other and Adam had a rush job for Michael. Kind of weird when you consider how many screen printers there are in Vancouver. So it goes…

Ran into a friend, Frank Wolf who is doing the Hell & Beyond expedition in June. It’s a kayaking and mountaineering expedition to northern BC where he’ll climb the Devil’s Thumb and then paddle to Tuktoyaktuk! In 70 days! Incredible. And people think I’m crazy! This is the same Frank Wolf who paddled from Saint John, New Brunswick to Vancouver 3 summers ago. It’s the only successful single season canoe trip across Canada, ever. What an inspiration, and here he goes again.

Looks like we’re a bit closer to the dome on the RoadRunner. We’ve measured the dome poles, and now it’s up to Bill at yess Frames to build the sleeves. Then all that’s left for the RoadRunner is the dome fabric, basket handle, basket locks, skid plate, liquid basket sides, hooks & loops for pulling, steering sleeve, handheld steering mechanism, brakes, basket lid brace, drain holes, front fender and table.

Picked up my outback oven from an outdoor store and made two attempts at banana bread over a flame. They were fantastic. I’ll be able to cook pizza, muffins, bread, lasagna and anything else you can cook in a regular oven. Perhaps I won’t go crazy after all! Of course, this is all up to Cheri Kutynec, my nutritionist friend who is designing my eating agenda. She once did the same thing for an ECO-Challenge team, so I’m in good hands.

So I’m making up some music tapes for the trip and I need some songs about running or walking, such as:

Against the wind – Bob Seger

Walking on sunshine – Katrina & the Waves

Stride – Matthew Wilder

Walk On – Reba McIntyre

If you have any song suggestions, please send them to me via email. Apparently, my new email (kevin@runninginto2000.com) isn’t working yet, so send it to Rob in the meantime. If you have sent me anything to that address, I haven’t received it. You can redirect it to kthomson@wimsey.com for now, but Rob will have the other working in a day or so.

Now it’s back to the planning stages, as we try to finalize all partnership details once and for all this week. Hope each of you has a great week yourself. Cheerio!

 

February 2nd, 1999

The road to "The Road" is filled with many roads. Today, like many days, the roads are not always clear, but I know I must travel them fully.

I had a day of travelling with the RoadRunner down the road from the office to Chinatown where an artisan named Adam Kosnicki runs a neat little operation called Super Sport that makes backpacks. Adam is a friend of Kuts Shoji from Vasque who is one of our sponsors. Kuts is a friend of Bill Husada at yess Frames who built the RoadRunner. So we’re all friends now. Adam is going to build me a harness to interface up my body to the amazing RoadRunner. Life is good. On the way back, I took the RoadRunner through the McDonald’s drive through for an order of fries. And they served me!

Hedy "Ready!" Davidson, one of my all-time favourite superheroes, is accumulating the Big 33 Mayors list as we embark on the postal onslaught of their mailing addresses. She has been an incredible supporter of this little plan ever since day one. I am so lucky to have such energy surrounding me.

Rob "Cheery" Chernenko has been experimenting with the broadcast email to our little list of interested parties, and we think it actually works!

My training is going gangbusters. I have no injuries, no soreness, no complications and just no nothing going wrong! My new doctor, Dr. Deanna Simmons has this to say: "I think Kevin has what it takes to run for at least a couple of days!" She is excited to be studying the wear and tear on my tender little body as she compares my initial baseline tests to my tests when I return next January.

Lots of exciting possibilities with sponsors, but this is the last week of courting for them. As of February 5th, the door is closed and it’s time to get busy with details. So I’m hoping everybody makes their decisions in the quickiest of manners.

This weekend was my first back to back training runs of over 20k and I feel great. I felt so good that I celebrated my recovery day on Monday with some good friends. We went down to Stevens Pass for some sno-biking (check out Luke’s awesome invention at: http://www.futuresports.com/paxhtm/0033.htm ).

Also over the weekend, my friend Jazzy Jeff Friesen helped me with my RoadRunner steering and dome concepts. Special thanks to him and to his girlfriend, Camilla, who patiently waited while we conspired to save the universe.

Got my lifetime supply of Gatorade in the mail today along with some snappy Gatorade gear. Also received my Newfoundland route maps from the Trans Canada Trail people over there. They call themselves the Newfoundland T'Railway Provincial Park since they have converted the old railway line into the fantastic trail that it is. The pictures look pretty scary for dragging ye olde RoadRunner, but that’s life. I’m still pretty pumped about it.

Looks like I’m hitting walls at every brewery I try to get interested in my little plan. Does anyone know how a fellow can get a beer sponsor for this type of journey? What could be more Canadian than having a beer? Except for maybe having some Kraft Dinner, which I surely will be enjoying along the way. So at least there’s that…

Now onwards to the great week of deadlines and partnership contracts. It will be so nice to have some conclusions so I can move ahead in areas such as logo’s and such. I know as the start gets closer and closer (it’s now only 43 days away!), all the details will just kind of fall into place. At least that’s my plan. Doesn’t it always seem to work out, somehow? I’m counting on it…

 

January 26th, 1999

As we progress down the road of preparation, there are many work crews out today. Some of the work crews look like they’re working hard like the dickens, while others look like they’ve never held a shovel before. So what does this all mean?

It could mean that it’s another crazy day in the planning stages of Running Into 2000. Today was the absolute last day of shipping off partnership proposals to the hustling, bustling headquarter cities of Toronto, Montreal, Guelph & Victoria. Stay tuned for results… No more proposals, ever. Well, we’ll see… Partner deadline is February 5th.

Bill Husada at yess Frames in Surrey, has met the deadline for creating the RoadRunner out of thin air. He is a genius and a marvel. He should be knighted, or at least given some banana bread (which I have done). Every time I dither on a decision on the RoadRunner, Bill gets to the meat of it, then shows me the path. Takes me down the path, then reveals to me the treasure lying at the end of the path. That Bill, he knows his paths… And he knows deadlines. So I picked up the RoadRunner with my friend Luke on Saturday.

On Sunday, I walked the amazing RoadRunner from my house to the office which is only about 7k, but I received more than the usual amount of inquisitive stares. It was a bit unnerving, but I suppose I’ll get used to it. Although I’ve travelled that route at least 50 times previously, this was the first time I ran into people that I knew. Isn’t life like that? The first person was my friend Joanne who originally thought I was someone in a custom built walking device due to a traumatic injury! The second was my new roomate, Melanie Dekker, who I haven’t seen in a while. It was good to run into her since I’m moving in with her in the next couple of days. Isn’t life like that?

I brought the RoadRunner down to Randy at the Backpackers Shop to suss out the potential design of the dome, which will cover me during possible inclement weather, should that occur during the trip. He had all kinds of great plans for the dome, but it’s back in my court now to make some decisions.

So, today was hashing out some details with the Vancouver City Police who have decided to provide me with a motorcycle escort out of Vancouver! I hadn’t thought of such a spectacle, but what the heck! Kind of a nice twist to the start.

I’ve been fiddling with some of Carl Anderson’s ideas on add-ons to the RoadRunner. If anyone wants to add to the list, please send me an email, but here are some of Carl’s ideas:

Covered Stove Holder on Rack (rack is a shelf on the frame behind me, and in front of the basket)

Running lights operated by rechargeable "C" batteries

Solar powered battery chargers for "C" and "AA" batteries

Pedal generator (nice touch to the end of a 30k day)

Shade panels option for dome

Rear posts for bad weather access to basket

Drain holes in basket!

Rubbermaid bins for individual storage compartments in basket

3 – 1 litre fuel containers in liquid basket (located under dry basket)

contact Cantel for pay as you go emergency cellular phone service

TP and paper towel on dowel on basket lid

Separate dome pieces

We’ve recently received some exciting rejection letters from some potential partners, but not to worry. The sails may be ruffled, but the ship sails on…

On the other hand, we have received some confirmations of partnerships:

The Running Room

Fireball Energy Gel from Body Science

Contour Outdoor Designs

The Backpackers Shop

Vasque hiking boots

Nanuk snowshoes

I am still seeking a tea leaf reader to predict the outcome of this ordeal, so if anyone knows of a good tea leaf reader, please contact me immediately! Call collect!

So that’s the update. Thanks for your interest. I’ll keep plugging away!

Kevin Thomson

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Last updated: October 30, 2003.