With a Little Help from my Friends

Posted by martin.parnell |

Completed Quest:

Rotary Coastal Quest 630 (Quest #9)

  • 630 miles (1014 kms) around the SW coast of England

  • March 4th to April 1st 2014, averaging a marathon a day.

  • 20,000 dollars raised for Right To Play

  • Check out: Rotary Coastal Quest 630

When a large project is undertaken, it requires many hands to make it a success. My “Quests for Kids” initiative encompasses 10 Quests, to be completed in five years, with the aim of raising $1m and changing the lives of 20,000 children. I began on January 1st 2010 and so far have completed 9 Quests and raised over $600,000. This would not have happened without the help of many people, along the way. One group that have provided valuable support, are eight local companies, who also want to make the world a little bit better.

I met Tobi McLeod in 2009, before I’d even started Marathon Quest 250 (MQ250). Tobi works for Back on Track, a company which produces a line of clothing, geared to stimulating recovery after activity. Tobi gave me several long sleeve T-shirts, socks and  long johns. Every day, after I had completed a marathon, I’d put on the gear, to aid in the recovery of my joints and muscles.

In 2010 during MQ250 I ran at 60 schools in the Cochrane and Calgary area and the Rotary Club of Cochrane produced a virtual “Across Canada” map of my 250 marathons. This map was pinned up at all the schools and the children followed my daily progress. Rotary have continued to support me, in all my endeavors.

Jason Webb was a sponsor of my second Quest, Netball Quest 61 and wanted to know what more he could do. Jason not only helps with my travel for the Quests, through his company Downunder Travel, but has organized a yearly “Fun Run” in support of Right To Play.

4iiii Innovations is a company based here in Cochrane. 4iiii’s have developed a line of products to monitor athletic performance, in real time. I’ve used these products to monitor my heart- rate and pace, in a number of my Quests and races.

Lau Mafuru is a friend of mine and owner of Boma Africa, a trekking company which takes people to the top of the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. It was with his help and guidance that in 2013 Quest #6 was completed, climbing the mountain in 21 hours.

In the summer and fall of 2013 my ninth Quest entailed completing all nine of the TransRockies race series across North America. The company’s owner, Aaron McConnell, not only supported this endeavor but set up a donation page which raised $45,000 for Right To Play.

The owners of Ink’d Graphics in Cochrane, Greg and Elena Alan, have always been there to make up boards or posters, promoting a variety of Right To Play events including the Annual December 31st MQ 250 run / walk.

Finally, in early 2011, after completing MQ250, I was contacted by Don Gorman, owner of Rocky Mountain Books. The idea of a book about my journey was agreed and a year later “Marathon Quest” was published. This has not only brought awareness to my cause, but generated additional funds for Right To Play.

To achieve something extraordinary requires help. We can’t do it on our own. It’s a great feeling when people believe in what you’re doing and offer their unconditional support. The companies above heard the call and have stepped forward. All I can say, on behalf of the thousands of children that have been given hope, is a very big Thank You. 

Quote of the week:

"Life is a solo act. It's a huge collaberation"

Tim Gunn

TransRockies were one of a number of local companies that have supported "Quests for Kids" and Right To Play. Much appreciated.




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