By Mike Gregory
Fast Eddy’s over 600 day endurance feat running across Canada, and back again, will culminate in a 24-hour run to Victoria that passes through Ladysmith on Friday night.
Kamloops resident’s Edward Dostaler’s fully self-supported fundraising effort has taken him about 27,000 kilometres so far and is to raise money for Alzheimer’s and breast cancer research.
The 28-year-old runs pushing a jogging stroller affectionately called Aurora Borealis and averages upwards of 90 kilometres when out on the road.
“What solo and unsupported means is that there is no one continuously following behind me and I’m doing this entirely by myself,” he said, adding that “nobody cooks my meals. I sleep in a tent more often than not.”
He’s gone through about 30 pairs of Hoka One One shoes specially designed for ultramarathoners, although Eddy isn’t afraid to admit he wasn’t a runner before 2013.
“At that current time when I announced I was going to run across Canada I had never ran before,” he said, adding that his hero is Rick Hansen.
“I go by Fast Eddy rather than my personal name because I don’t want this to be about me,” he said. I’m strictly doing this for the causes.”
His 89-year-old grandmother Mary Pugh, who also recently celebrated her 68th wedding anniversary, is currently battling Alzheimer’s disease.
The run is also in remembrance of the late Dr. Tom Owen’s of Thompson River’s University where Dostaler attended school. Owens was an advocate for breast cancer research.
Avoiding popular crowdfunding websites that take a percentage of the donations, Fast Eddy instead encourages people to visit his website to find direct links to provincial chapters for both causes he’s running to support.
“I wanted to make an impact for the causes the best way that I could,” he said. “We have a national iconic run to go across the country so I wanted to make sure that everything stayed within the provinces and I wanted to include my country.”
Along the way he’s shaved his head for cancer, done school presentations and helped out with an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Walk.
Fast Eddy has also responded to 2,500 letters from children who had questions about his journey.
“One of the things I take the most pride in is writing the letters back to the kids,” he said.
Fast Eddy leaves Nanaimo Friday afternoon and is scheduled to arrive at Active Solutions Health + Sport in Ladysmith at around 6 p.m. for a one hour meet and greet.
To donate or learn more about the run visit www.fasteddycanada.com.