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July 23, 2009 - Another Successful Day!

23 July 2009 One Comment

img_0231.jpg July 23, 2009
Stage 23
Newmarket, ON to South Bay, ON.

Most of us have grown up with images of Terry Fox running across Canada, a symbol of all the things we hold dear as Canadians. I imagine many of us have thought a lot about his determination and strength throughout our time on the road. For Terry, he was driven by an overwhelming need to prove that one person can make a difference. Descendants of Terry’s dream, we all brought a number of motivations with us to this run. Some of us wanted to represent the Sikh religion and share the lessons of serving humanity. Others looked forward to accepting the challenge of running miles and miles across Canada. Some of us may simply have been looking for something to do this summer. Either way, before the break of dawn Thursday morning, Center Team 1 found themselves in a Tim Horton’s parking lot, wondering if the rain would end.

Our day began very early at Scarborough Gurdwara. Wednesday night was our last stop near the GTA, and therefore our last chance to sleep in our own beds. From here on in, we would be back to 12-hour-long run days divided amongst two teams, and there would be no driving home afterwards.

Our bus departed Scarborough just after 5am, and when we arrived in Newmarket, we were very fortunate to have a police escort waiting for us. A constable from the York regional police department was kind enough to join us as we continued in the rain up Canada’s longest street. Center Team 1 had been running for 5 days now, and although the weather and our sore bodies were against us, we would not let anything dampen our spirits. New and old acquaintances always had something to talk about, and whether we were singing songs or playing 20 questions, time was flying by. There was, however, no sign of the rain letting up, which meant we would need to wear our yellow rain ponchos to stay dry. When the rain really began to pour, ingenuity saved the day as someone suggested wearing two ponchos front-to-back, with a visor worn overhead. This newly created running essential quickly became known as “The Chicken Suit,” not just because of the bright GGSCF yellow and because the visor now resembled a beak, but because we all knew we looked ridiculous wearing it, and didn’t care.

For lunch, both teams found Mexican cuisines to dine on. A special thanks goes out to the girls from ‘The Chocolate Fountain Shoppe’ who generously paid for our meal. With our bellies full and the rain finally starting to subside, we set back on the road, running Northwest through Barrie and towards our destination for the evening, Midland. Having just left Downtown Toronto the other night, running parallel to Hwy 400 was a dramatic change. We no longer found ourselves weaving around pedestrians and strollers, or stopping at intersections one after another. We were surrounded by farmland and travelling up long stretches of road. Sky-risers and coffee shops were now replaced by silos and corn fields. The noise of the city was a sharp contrast to the peaceful silence we sometimes found ourselves in.

Once we reached our target mileage for the day, we checked into our motel and started to unwind. One of our many unofficial mottos is “run hard, play hard,” and so we have. One of our youngest runners of the trip, Amitoz, celebrated his 13th birthday, and as pieces of his Dairy Queen ice crème cake was passed around, it was a great chance to take in all we had accomplished together so far. That evening, a large group of us walked to the marina to enjoy some of the city’s historical and natural beauty. We sat by the waterside with a sense of accomplishment that one only gets from a very hard day of work. Our day started and ended with water, and I’m sure this would become a theme as our journey progressed.

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One Comment »

  • S. Kaur said:

    Great job Jiwanjot!

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