HALIFAX - I consider myself in decent shape.
Three trips to the gym each week on average, mostly to offset my addiction to Tim Hortons Ice Caps and chocolate chip cookies (I may or may not be sipping on an Ice Cap, in fact, while writing this).
So, when offered the challenge of running up and down Citadel Hill 10 times to help promote an event for The Arthritis Society titled Virtual Everest, I was on board immediately.
Sure, it will be tough, but I can handle it.
So on a cool, overcast fall October day, I put on my runners and headed out, meeting up with two people from the arthritis society, who kept me company for the run.
After some small talk, away we went.
It didn’t take long before I realized this was no ordinary workout. Citadel Hill is steep, and the pain that takes over your legs as you approach the top is excruciating.
The only saviour during my 10 trips up, was the 10 trips down, but even those were no picnic.
This Sunday, for The Arthritis Society’s Virtual Everest on Citadel Hill, teams, or any individual brave (or crazy) enough to do so, must climb Citadel Hill 80 times. That’s right – 80.
I did 10 and was ready to collapse.
Jamie Davison, chair of Virtual Everest, says this first-time event for the society is a chance for people who like to challenge themselves physically to do so at home.
In fact, the steep terrain participants will run on Citadel Hill matches the elevation of Mount Everest from sea level to summit.
“And you don’t have to get on a plane to do it,” said Davison, who is also chair of the advisory board, Nova Scotia division, for the Arthritis Society. “It’s different, it’s challenging and it’s fun.”
Davison said so far, about 30 teams have signed up to participate, ranging between two and eight runners. The registration fee is $75 for team members and $100 for individual runners, and anyone can sign up by Sunday morning.
The start gun begins at 9 a.m. and teams have until 5 p.m. to finish.
“This type of event raises awareness and gets people taking about (arthritis),” he said. “It also raises funds and gets people active, which is important for those who suffer from arthritis.”
Anyone taking part Sunday will be active, and then some. When I was done, my quads felt like they were going to explode – and that was only 10 times. Bravo to anyone who does more.
And oh yes, when I was done, I treated myself – to an Ice Cap of course.
- by Philip Croucher - Metro Halifax