Running to fight a rare disease

“The human mind can drive the body to amazing places and feats of running.”

The big goal? Dave plans to break a long-standing Canadian record by taking only 66-days to run across Canada (7200km) in 2018. Holy crap? Yep.

In the meantime Dave is building his body and mind up to withstand the mental and physical strain that such a monstrous task will require. In early September Dave ran to get to the Lost Souls 100Miler…a mild 170km warmup for the race the following day (which he won in course record time). Bonkers. Read his blog for all the details.

This weekend, Dave is running over 100km to a 50k ultramarathon (Grizzly 50k).  Madness – and I like it!


So who is this Dave and what is this all about?

His name is Dave Proctor and he lives in Okotoks Alberta just 15 minutes south of Calgary. He is married and has 3 children Julia 11, Sam 8, and Adele 6. Sam, Dave’s 8-year old was diagnosed with a rare disease called RECA. Dave is also an amazing runner. This is where running and doing good on foot come together.


With a son battling a rare disease – Dave came into contact with the Rare Disease Foundation and Dave planned up a way to raise money and awareness to not only help his son but others who suffer or who friends and family who have rare diseases. Dave thinks big. Like mentioned at the start of the blog – Dave plans to set a record for a run across Canada. The record belongs to Arthur “Al” Howie (September 16, 1945 – June 21, 2016) who won more than fifty marathons, ultramarathons, and multiday races in over  including the 1991 Trans Canada Highway run (7295 kilometers) in the record time of 72 days and 10 hours. A brass plaque on Victoria’s Mile Zero marker commemorates this athletic event for which he raised $750,000 for a fund for children with special needs.

Dave’s running records

He is the Canadian 24 hour record holder (257.093kms), the former Guinness world record holder for furthest distance run on a treadmill in 24 hours (260.4kms), holds course records at Sinister 7 and Lost Soul 100mile and has won the Confederation 150km race this year in Calgary (12hrs18min).

Personal Bests
24 hour:257.093kms
100 mile 13hrs 40min
150km 12hr18min
100km 7hr37min

I will be following Dave’s progress and race over the weekend (when my 2-year old permits) and hope to do a Q&A with Dave after his race.

Post race question and answer session:


How did lining up to the Grizzly 50k after your 90k warmup run feel on the weekend?
How did the race go?

“Racing yesterday was tougher then expected. Saturdays run was 90kms of stiff headwind. My core and hip flexors were very angry Saturday night but mentally was the largest challenge.”

“I knew from the start the race wasn’t gonna be a banner result. My core was still shaken from the day prior. The first half was reasonable, mostly catching up with friends but when the trails got more technical in the back half the wheels started falling of starting in my hip flexors. I have to admit I was pretty happy when the race ended. I finished in 4hrs39min in 8th place.”

How do you prepare yourself mentally for so many miles in only a couple days?

“Mentally I remind myself that I am more then capable of this task. I also continue telling myself that if my son Sam could run like his father can he would never stop. I stop cuz I’m tired. That’s just unacceptable.”

What does your training and racing look like as you prepare for your cross Canada run in 2018?

“My next challenge and training opportunity is at the Across The Years 6 day race in AZ in late December. I plan on running 22 hours a day for6 days straight around a one mile loop. I’m hoping to break the Canadian 6 day record of 850kms. I hope to flirt with 1000!”

What do you hope to accomplish with teaming up with the Rare Disease Foundation and what does it mean for you?

“RDF hits very close to home as my son Sam has a Rare Disease called RECA. This is an Ataxia disorder waking gross and fine motor skills challenging. It took a long six years to receive a diagnosis. This is because Rare Disease, even though it affects 1/12 Canadians remains significantly underfunded and under researched. I aim to shine a light on the needs the Rare Disease community share.”

Keep running Dave and many of us will be following your adventures.

Find Dave on his blog or on Twitter at @runproctor

Connect with the Rare Disease Foundation on their site or on Twitter @xcanada4rare

Run on my friends and go Dave!


One thought on “Running to fight a rare disease

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s