Julie Dabrusin is the MPP for Toronto-Danforth, and as a runner and politician, she is challenging her colleagues and their constituents to race across Canada from coast to coast. The Race Across Canada is in partnership with the Isolation Run, an organization which is challenging Canadians to run and donate in support of their local healthcare workers.
Canada is 8,030K long from the West to East coast. Each participating riding will come up with a team of any number of participants. The more members a team has, the less distance each individual has to cover, and the faster the challenge can be completed. Because of this, large teams are encouraged (also, more runners means more money raised). The challenge began last week but it’s not too late for runners to sign up.
Each team is responsible for keeping track of and entering the distance they have covered. Every Monday, the leaderboard will be updated to show how each riding is doing.
Dabrusin says she came up with the ideal when she found her spring and summer race calendar wiped clean. “As time was going on, motivation was becoming harder to find without races on the calendar. At the same time, I noticed that lots of other people were getting out to run. It got me thinking about how we could motivate each other.”
She says a big part of what motivates her is having a distance to run and a goal to meet. “I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to see if we could virtually run the distance across Canada? Especially right now, when we can’t travel as easily.”
Currently, Ottawa-Centre is in the lead, having covered nearly 1,800K. They’re virtually in Montreal. Milton is in second, covering 1,035K to get them to Nova Scotia.
Unofficially, the race ends on Labour Day, but some teams may take a little longer to make their way across the country, and that’s alright. Dabrusin also adds that wheeled kilometres count as well, so anyone can compete. “It’s really just for the fun of it. It’s a chance for people to come together because the pandemic has been a long time. This is just a chance to gather as a community and do some good.”