March 25, 2010

My BIG Announcement...

(HUGE thanks to David Papineau at Prototye Design for this logo!)

AHHH, I've been waiting to announce this one for months now...and I can finally say with 100% confidence that this WILL least the attempts will happen...

Conquer The Coasts 2010

Canada’s West Coast Trail, Vancouver Island British Columbia, 75km, highly technical with average hiking times of up to a week.

Most famous trail in Western Canada. Trail consists of technical terrain from start to finish. Two water crossings via water taxis and half a dozen more via cable cars. Ladder work consisting of dozens of ladders and hundreds upon hundreds of completely vertical stairs. Boot sucking mud, ankle twisting roots, and a tidal cut off zone at the ¾ mark. This trail is not for the faint of heart and many who have set out to traverse it in a single day have ended up utilizing space blankets, headlamps, and wilderness camping to complete their journey.

Current trail record is a very respectable 10h13m by local legend Kevin Vallely. Kevin recently completed a 650km run across the frozen Lake Baikal with his adventure partner Ray Zahab, and with one additional teammate they set the current South Pole speed record in 2009!

I have run this trail once before, but at the time it was just over half of my intended route. I followed up the 75km West Coast Trail by running an 8km section of road to another British Columbia trail classic, the 47km Juan De Fuca Trail. All in I became the first person to run the 130km ‘West Coast Double’ in a time of 23h40m. My WCT time investment was 12h20m while running from North to South. I do believe the trail is doable in a sub 9hr time frame, assuming some luck with a lengthy dry spell of weather leading into an attempt. (if you have almost 13min to kill you can view my original video of my West Coast Double run you'll see this was before I learned about video editing software!)

My proposed run date will be in late May.

Canada’s East Coast Trail, starting in my old stomping grounds of St. John’s Newfoundland, consists of 220km of rough footing, non-stop undulations and incredible coastal scenery. There has only been one completed running of this trail, ironically enough by Kevin Vallely’s adventure partner Ray Zahab. Ray is a much more recognizable figure within the running world made more famous by his recent documentary release ‘Running The Sahara’.

Ray’s run time on The East Coast Trail was close to 48hr, but having spoken with him personally he reaffirms my initial thoughts of being able to hopefully lower that time to the 24hr range...mainly cause I just don’t wanna run for two straight days! Ray mentioned some issues with route finding along the way, and having run just two sections of this trail myself, all told for 40km, I can certainly sympathize with the navigational issues. All who know me are also currently laughing as my internal compass seems to be resting squarely upon a magnet!

My run attempt is currently scheduled for mid September.

After the media garnered during The Olympics I would hope all are familiar with this organization by now!

As I was plotting this ‘mission’ back in November it took me all of five minutes to realize that I needed to tie my venture to these wonderful people.

Their mission as stated is, “To improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace.”

My goal is simple, I’d like to lend a hand in raising $5,000 for this incredible charity. Why five thousand? Well, I initially thought $2,950 would have made more sense, since I’m running a total of 295km, however $5,000 just had a nicer ring to it. This is my primary goal with this entire process. If I were fortunate enough to set two new trail speed records but fall short on the fund raising side of things I’d still consider this an epic failure. SO, please help me achieve my goal with this by reaching out to help underprivileged children around the world.

Right To Play currently has programs in:
Azerbaijan, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza), Peru, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, United Arab Emirates and Zambia.

Click here to support my fund raising campaign for Right To Play

(this hyper link seems to be 50-50 for hitting right page, please try a 2nd time if wrong link on first clic)
and thanks so much for your continued online support of my own running endeavors!

Gary Robbins


Nicola Gildersleeve said...

SAWEET!!!!! Adventures are truly the best way to run. Let me know how I can contribute to your charity (online?).

Anonymous said...

Wow! Can't wait to hear how this one went!! Have a great time, Gary!

All Day!

Noa said...

Thats great! How can one donate?

Gary Robbins said...

Thanks guys! There's a link at the bottom of my blog but it seems to be 50-50 for hitting the right page!?

I've re clicked it a few times and it always finds my donation page on the 2nd or 3rd attempt, SORRY, it's weird but it'll work!!


Derrick said...

Very cool Gary!

Your announcement coincided nicely with your Cdn Running Mag interview.

All the best. Looking foreward to following along!

Anonymous said...

i'm there with ya GR...good luck

longfellow said...

Very cool, your crazy enough and talented enough to pull this off.
Good luck, I'll help spread the wood.


How exciting! Westcoast vs eastcoast- its so you! Old stomping grounds vs new ones. Cool!

Deanna Stoppler said...

That sounds totally cool. Need some support on the east coast? I'm here dude.

garobbins said...

Thanks All,

I'll continually be looking for support on this one whether through spreading the word, helping fund raise for Right To Play, or indeed direct in person support upon the trail, especially in NL! If you can help out in any facet it would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks for all the kinds words of support and encouragement!


Jude said...

Way cool... and i adore the logo...
*minor correction/addition... the record of 10:13 was Kevin Valley and Frank Wolfe (a crazy adventurer and filmer).

when you need help... reach out, ill do what i can.

Gary Robbins said...

You're absolutely right Jude, Frank deserves as much recognition as Kevin on this one, sorry for the oversight!