McQuest

Posted by martin.parnell |

Well this is it, departure day for Canada Quest for Kids. Sue and I had packed the “Questmobile” last night. The box held four rubber maid containers and each one was marked accordingly: Buffs, Books, Sports Gear and Camping Gear. Inside the truck we’d packed our clothes and other odds and ends. We headed up to Cochrane Toyota, where Jaimie, Marketing Administrator at the dealership, had constructed a balloon arch. At 9.30am, the countdown started, ten, nine…….three, two, one and we were off. The objective for the first day was to travel as far Salmon Arm in BC, some 500kms away. If we had left a week earlier it would have been in a foot of snow but today the sun was shining and we made good time. We planned to have lunch in Golden and we had to find a McDonalds.

You may be surprised at our choice of eating establishment but, a month ago, McDonalds had come on board to support the Quest. When I told my running buddies about this development you would have thought I had gone to the dark side. Comments like “You can’t eat healthy at McDonalds” and “Didn’t you see Super-Size Me?” came thick and fast. However, I like to make my own mind up so I printed off their whole menu with all the nutritional facts. Then I spent nights pouring over the data to see if I could construct a healthy meal plan for the month of traveling across Canada.

Sometimes when I do a Quest I like to have a “Quest-within-a-Quest”. In 2010, I ran 250 marathons and one of my sponsors was Mackay’s in Cochrane. They have 50 flavours of ice cream and I took it upon myself to try every type. By December 31st 2010, mission accomplished. With the McDonalds sponsorship I’ve set another “Quest-within-a-Quest”. I’m going to attempt to eat healthily, drive 8,000kms and not gain a pound. I weighed myself yesterday and was 174.6 lbs. Wish me luck.

In the Golden McDonalds we met the manager, Andrew. One of the servers had asked about my Canada Quest for Kids T-shirt and pointed it out to him. We got chatting and he explained that he had started running two years ago and had completed two marathons this year, and is hoping to one day qualify for Boston. He has also taken up Ultra running. He knew about Right To Play and was a big fan of Clara Hughes. Little known fact: Clara once worked at a McDonalds.

I choose a Tuscan salad with grilled chicken, a bag of apple slices and an Americano, an excellent start to the McDonalds experiment.

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