January 08, 2012

(video) 215km East Coast Trail Speed Record

On Friday, August 20th, 2010, I set out to run the 215km long East Coast Trail from Cappahaden to St. John's in a non-stop speed record fashion. Exactly two weeks prior I had run the 75km (80km) West Coast Trail and messed up my hip (glute med) in the process. This would be the pain and injury I keep referencing in the film below, and why I was unable to run for so long following the completion of the ECT. I distinctly remember saying to my Mother the day before the ECT attempt that I needed another day or two to recover/prepare/sleep, to which she responded,

"You have to do this now. The extended forecast is turning nasty within hours of your anticipated completion. It's now or never. This is your day to do this."

Why do Mom's always have to be so damn right all the time?

I flew across Canada on the red-eye flight from Tuesday the 17th till Wednesday the 18th, departing Vancouver at 10pm and arriving in St. John's at 12:30pm the following day. I managed one full night of rest on the 18-19th, and then stayed at The Midnight Hill Manor in Renews the night before the attempt (I never got a chance to properly thank them for their incredible hospitality and support of Right To Play. THANK YOU Carol Ann and Bob)

Late on the night of the 19th, after finally feeling confident enough in my preparation, I managed less than four hours of rest before the 4am alarm went off. It was then or never. It did have to happen on that day. I remember thinking to myself that I would have DNS'ed (did not start) any other race with how I was feeling, right down to a 50k distance, yet I showed up and gave it everything I had in me. It was yet another amazing lesson in the power of the human mind and the ability to truly block out pain. I am incredibly proud of this run, and even if I had shown up that day 100% healthy and rested I doubt I would have been much faster anyways. I may just have enjoyed some of it a bit more...what am I saying? It was 35hours on my feet, how much can you ever really enjoy something like that anyways? (I loved every second of it)

The above is my official video, thanks to Erik Nachtrieb over at 1iOpen Productions for tirelessly working on this piece and trimming down my very rough, approximately eight hours of footage into what you see above.

I hope you enjoy it.

These are the people that made this run possible.
My Ma and Pa, my niece Kayla, brother Bryan, and his wonderful partner Heather


Yassine said...

Amazing! Thank you Gary for this inspiring video that has such true and powerful messages. Well done my friend, well done...Hope you're getting back out there more and more...and hope to see you soon.

Sara said...

WOW. Thanks so much for sharing Gary. Incredible video.

garobbins said...

Thanks Yassine & Sara! Glad you both enjoyed it and thanks for the positive feedback.


Andrew said...

just curious but how did your garmin last so long and did you ever post the data anywhere (if not can you post a link)? would be cool to see the data.

garobbins said...

That's a great question and I was wondering if anyone would notice that.

As you saw I could intersect my folks on average every 3-5 hours with the longest gap being over 7 hours.

Whenever I saw them and they could drive alongside of just ahead of me we plugged the garmin into the car charger. Worked like a charm!

Not sure if this link will work but if so this is the file from that day. Not sure why it defaults to miles while sharing as it's in kilometers on my personal page.



garobbins said...

Haha, also ignore the BEST PACE mile as that was when my folks were able to drive ahead of me through a small town and locate the next trail head for me.

Melissa said...

Hi Gary - Just saw a link on Facebook of your incredible accomplishment and I just had to check out your website. AMAZING. You were such an inspiration to me when we all lived in Whistler...I would never have done the relays or captained the Sun Run team without your awesome and encouraging attitude. Small potatoes compared to what you have accomplished, but huge for someone like me that's built more for comfort than speed!! So glad you are doing incredibly well & are happy. Just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for being such an inspiration.

garobbins said...

Just noticed something else from that data. It shows a stagnant time of almost five hours.

Only explanation would be that it is from my parents driving ahead of me and parking the car, with the garmin charging, waiting for me to catch up to them. Still not certain that was 5hrs but not sure where that gap arises from otherwise?


Cyrus Taylor said...

Fabulous video and amazing achievement! I do have one equipment question: what was the camera you used of this fabulous footage and how did you carry it?

garobbins said...

That Whistler relay team was one of the highlights of that year for sure!! Thanks for the kind words. Great hearing from you again.


garobbins said...

Cyrus, I used your standard GoPro HD headcam and carried it in a fanny pack instead of where the bottle would normally go. This allowed me to have it on my body and easily access it without ever having to fully stop.


Val N Ivan Rose said...

You are amazing, just finished watching the video, really enjoyed it. Hope to see you again sometime when we are visiting Megan. All the best Val & Ivan