Endurance Events: Running the East Coast and West Coast Trails

Most hikers take a week to hike the 75-kilometre West Coast Trail. Local extreme endurance athlete Gary Robbins plans to run it in under 10 hours

Credit: Gary Robbins

Gary Robbins celebrates one of his many wins in extreme endurance events

Many runners use events as fundraisers but few are as unique as the run Gary Robbins is attempting to do on the East Coast and West Coast trails

Gary is a North Vancouver-based uber-athlete with some impressive credentials under his belt. So far in 2010 he’s completed six ultra endurance events, two of them 100-mile running races. He won the first 100 miler, the HURT 100 in Hawaii, setting a course record in the process.

For most people this would be a good year. They’d probably feel justified relaxing the rest of the year.

But Gary’s not like most people.

Instead of relaxing he’s planning on ramping it up.

Running the East Coast and West Coast Trails

For August he’s designed a very challenging fundraiser, the Conquer the Coasts runs. His goal is to run the 75 km West Coast Trail in record time on August 4, and then two weeks later, fly to Newfoundland and run 220 km of the East Coast Trail.

Yes, you read that right.

He’s running almost 300 kilometres in two runs, two weeks apart.


Beyond being a personal challenge for an exceptional athlete, Gary is raising money for the Right to Play organization that helps children in disadvantaged countries participate in sports.

I’ve blogged before on the importance of exercise for kids so I think the Right to Play people are on the right track.

So far Gary has reached 50% of his goal of raising $5,000 but he still needs help to achieve the full amount. Help him by donating on his personal donation page.

Then follow Gary’s progress on his blog. I for one can’t wait to read about his runs.

And be inspired by Gary’s extreme feats to get out for some of your own adventures in BC’s beautiful outdoors. 

UPDATE: He did it!!! Gary beat the 13 year old record by “only” (his quote) five minutes and managed to run the entire West Coast Trail in 10 hours and 8 minutes. This is an amazing feat of endurance as the original record was set by two other elite BC athletes, Kevin Vallely and Frank Wolf in 1997.