Jeff Green | Aug 11, 2011
Photo: Scott Cannata (centre) with family members in Kaladar.
“Every morning when I wake up, I feel like I ran a marathon the day before and I know I have to run another one.”
Scott Cannata feels that way for a reason. Every morning when he wakes up, he did run a marathon the day before. And he has to drag himself back onto the road to run another one.
Since May 1, with the exception of a few days off to deal with a foot injury, Scott has been running 42 kilometres a day, and he plans to keep running until late December, when he hopes the complete “The Run to Live”, a cross-country run from the coast of Newfoundland to the Coast of British Columbia.
Scott was inspired to take on the “Run to Live” when he read the Douglas Coupland book on Terry Fox. But his interest in running goes back further.
Ever since he was a youngster he has loved to run, and throughout his student career at Trent University in Peterborough he has worked at the University Athletic Centre.
Although the run he is engaged in now is taking place on the shoulders of highways, they are not Scott’s favourite running surface. “I really love to run in the woods,” he said during a family reunion of sorts that was held by the side of Highway 7 at the Kaladar Community Centre on August 4.
Pointing to the woods at the edge of the field behind the centre, he said “I could put on a pack, run straight into those woods and spend a day in there.”
He does just that sometimes when he visits his family’s cottage on Ashby Lake.
The route that Scott is taking across Canada mirrors the one taken by Terry Fox, with the Kaladar Community Centre being the closest spot to his family’s summer gathering place, so the family gathered at the centre for a BBQ and visit with friends from the area on what turned out to be a sunny, hot afternoon. It was only later that they noticed there is a marker of the time Terry Fox passed through Kaladar, as he has a prime place in the mural that was painted on the side of the centre several years ago.
Aside from being inspired by Terry Fox's run, Scott Cannata became interested and motivated to extreme athletics a few years ago when he began running longer and longer distances. This culminated in him competing in 100-mile race (which is 8 kilometres shy of 4 consecutive marathon distance races) in September of 2009.
“It took me 27½ hours to complete that run, which was a trail run over difficult terrain. By the end of the night I was staggering through the trail with a flashlight in my mouth to keep on the trail, but when the sun came up I started to feel stronger and began running again. I even passed a few people after that,” he said.
After completing the run, which was in September of 2009, Scott decided he wanted to run across the country. With his girlfriend Meghan as his support team he began planning the trip, a process that took a year and a half. Now, with their lives on hold until the end of the run (Meghan has graduated from Trent and Scott is only one credit away) they are on the road with their trusty truck, camper, and loyal dog, traversing the country. Sponsors have come on board to cover their costs, along with the sale of bracelets, but all the other money they are raising is going to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Scott lost a few pounds at the beginning of the run, and he did suffer that injury that stopped him for six days, but his foot is strong, and he has recovered his pre-race weight. Judging from his demeanour in Kaladar, he seems not to have suffered at all from the rigours of running this far. But there is Northern Ontario, the lonesome Prairies, the Rocky Mountains and the BC interior still to traverse. And it will likely be cold by the time Scott reaches the mountains, but he seems to be game for anything.
“The good thing about running up a mountain is that it gives you short-term goals,” he said.
For information about the Run to Live or to donate, go to Theruntolive.com.