Brad Firth, a Gwich’in runner known as “Caribou Legs,” was stopped by RCMP in Alberta recently while on a cross-country run from Vancouver to St. John’s. He’s doing the cross-Canada run in memory of our country’s missing and murdered indigenous women and in doing so, he runs 50 to 75 kilometres a day with no support vehicle.
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In the video that Firth posted to his Facebook page, the officer says that someone reported a person “with make-up on their face and looked like they had a gun in their hand.” The video of the encounter has been viewed more than 41,000 times since being posted on June 26. The video can be seen at the bottom of this page.
Firth runs with traditional Gwich’in clothing and a drum. He was running between Edmonton and Calgary when he was pulled over during his run near Olds, Alta.
He wants to run to challenge mindsets of those who inflict violence on women and as well, he’s hoping to encourage “peace, healing, health and wellness across the country one step at a time over the next four months” by running across Canada.
Firth was given the name “Caribou Legs” by a family member because of his knack for long-distance running. He’s from Gwich’in nation in Inuvik, N.W.T.
During the incident, three police cruisers showed up on scene after receiving the initial report. CBC reports that he was not charged.
Police stops are not irregular for cross-country runners as main highways and corridors are often the preferred route and province’s have differing regulations. Firth got into running with the help of the Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club (VFAC), one of the city’s most popular performance oriented clubs. He has used running to overcome his past where he dealt with homelessness and drug addiction according to the CBC.
He did a run to Ontario from Vancouver for the Peel Watershed in the Yukon.
Video of his run-in with the police
Editor’s note: The original title “cross-Canada runner known as ‘Caribou Legs’ mistaken for gunman by police,” has been updated as police responded to a motorist’s call and were obligated to further investigate.