Organizing an event this large with involvement from various individuals, volunteers, runners, teams, communities, organizations, and authorities, is quite a task, to say the least. There’s a whole lot of planning involved, and we’re getting on top of things.. after all, time is of essence!
So, how do you plan an event of this scale, and ensure a synergy between all aspects from the route to the permits, to the participants, to a successful event…. with a lot of patience and hard work!
Below is information on how this event is being planned, and how we aim to accomplish our goal of running across the country, as a TEAM!
The Team Factor
- The event has been organized into three sections which will be managed by three teams
- East Team
- Will begin the run from St. Johns, Newfoundland and complete their section around Pickering, Ontario
- Central Team
- Will take on the run from the East Team at Pickering, Ontario and continue until Brandon, Manitoba
- West Team
- Will complete the run from Brandon, Manitoba to Vancouver, British Columbia
- Each section is about 2500km and will take about 3 weeks to complete.
- Each section will have 32 participants, which will be further divided into two teams, Team A & Team B.
- Each Team will consist of 16 members of which, 6 will be drivers, and 10 will be runners of ages 14 to 25.
- Each Team will need to do its part to make sure that 130kms per day are being completed for us to meet our deadline of being at Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC on August 30th, 2009!
Since safety is a major concern, we need to make sure all team members work well together and get to know each other so we have already started practice runs where drivers and runners are getting into shape together and getting to know each other at the same time. We’re excited that new drivers, runners and other volunteers are joining all the time to be a part of this event!
We plan to have fun while doing this event, no doubt about it, but at the same time, we have to make sure we’re covering the distance in the time that we have. So how do we make sure we cover 130kms per day, between 12 drivers and 20 runners, every day, for 9 weeks, in the summer heat? Simple…. TEAMWORK! This is what you can expect a Typical Run Day to look like….
6:00am - Team A (with 10 runners and 6 drivers starts the run, nice and early. The 10 runners in Team A rotate as needed during the first 3 hours they run.
9:00am - Team B with the second set of 10 runners and 6 drivers takes over from Team A (Lucky they got to sleep in today - but their turn will come for the 6am shift soon enough!) Team A gets to relax, fuel up the cars, and the bodies, and hydrate for the next 3 hours.
12:00pm - Team A comes back energized and ready to take over the running from Team B (we should be at the half-way mark for the day by now!) Team B takes off to get recharged for their next shift.
3:00pm - Team A is done for the day, and ready to hand over the flag to Team B to finish off for the day. Team A relaxes, and gets to work prepping for the night!
6:00pm - Team B wraps up the day, and heads to the home base for the night, wherever it may be for the night.
Combined as one team, Teams A and B would run for 12 hours which should allow for the distance to be covered for the day (we expect to cover at least 130 kms per day). If for some reason the distance could not be covered, due to traffic, weather etc. the plan is to continue after 6pm to make up the distance, but of course, we’ll be sure to run only during daylight hours, and only if it’s deemed safe to do so.
The Relay Format
We admire and commend the many individuals who have completed an Across Canada Run on their own - it’s certainly not an easy task, as we all realize! We however, will be attempting to complete this run as a team, and in a relay format… If vehicles were boxes, runners were a circle, and the road was a number of lines…. this is what our run format would look like from a bird’s view…
To make sure the runner on the road is safe from other road traffic, there will always be two vehicles with the runner (Vehicles 1 & 2).
The Run Flag Vehicle (1) will be ahead of the runner and would carry the Canadian flag. It would have two drivers who control the run and the route. This vehicle would also contain a first aid kit, local hospital information, maps, cell phones etc.
There will be one runner at a time on the road, who will run approximately 300 meters at a time, and then be replaced by the next runner from the Relay Runners Vehicle (2). The previous runner will rest up in Vehicle 2 until his/her next turn. The runners will continue to rotate as needed.
Safety & Security Precautions
There’s certainly a “Fun” aspect to this project the first time you hear about it, and as it starts to settle in what the scope actually is, and what we’re undertaking, we all come to that point, where we need to take a step back, and realize that this is not going to be easy, and we really need to cover all angles, including the extremely and utmost important factor of Safety and Security - for our runners, and volunteers embarking on this adventure. Here are some of the key items we’ve outlined for everyone to focus on, and if you have any additional input - we certainly welcome all comments and feedback for consideration.
Primarily, being on the road, with or without a vehicle, amongst narrow roads, odd bends, and fast paced cars is one of our major areas of consideration for safety precautions. To ensure that our runners on the road are safe from other vehicles, here’s what we’re doing:
- Our first option is to be running on a sidewalk, if one exists.
- Where there is no sidewalk, but there is a curb the runner would run on the boulevard.
- Where there is no curb, the runner would be on the shoulder between the two slowly moving vehicles.
- Where there are other extreme hazards (dangerous bends, road works, no shoulder etc.) the section may be omitted from the run for the safety of our runners.
In addition to being safe on the road, here are some other safety precautions we’ll be taking during the run, and at all times in general through the course of the 2 months.
- Make sure all our Run vehicles would be visible to oncoming traffic
- Run Flag Vehicle (1) - a mini-van will carry a Canadian flag on top
- Relay Runners vehicle (2) - 12 passenger van will have a sign on the back cautioning on coming traffic
- Each vehicle would carry a flashing yellow warning light
- Run would only be during day light hours 6am to 6pm (later time might be used to make up for rain and other obstructions but only during day light hours)
- Run team would change every 3 hours to avoid fatigue of drivers/runners
- Two way radio between vehicles for communication and to keep track of everyone
- First aid kit in run vehicle as well as directions to local hospital and cell phone numbers
In addition, our teams will be training in the Relay Format before the actual run, so that everyone can understand and be aware of possible situations to be able to prepare themselves mentally and physically.
Back to Top
Now that you’ve learned about what we’re doing, and how we’re planning to carry out the actual project, perhaps it’s time you checked out our “Get Involved” page, and learned a little more about how you can contribute, whether it’s financial support, moral/emotional support, or perhaps, through an idea of your own?