A trek across Canada, twice, is nearing its end for a runner raising awareness of breast cancer research and Alzheimer’s disease.
Edward “Fast Eddy” Dostaler made his second trip through Ponoka Sept. 7, the first time he came through town was April last year. The run is a continuation of his goal to run across Canada twice in the hopes of raising money and awareness for the two issues important to him.
By the time Dostaler came through Ponoka the second time around he had run just under 26,000 kms going through 25 pairs of runners. He is on his way to the west coast of Canada, which will conclude his trip.
There’s been ups and downs to the trip, the biggest one ensuring he has enough money to continue the trip. Dostaler has used his own resources asking supporters to donate where they can but to make major donations to the two groups he’s running for.
Support has been strong with hotels providing a room when possible and for the rest Dostaler uses his tent.
It’s unclear how much money has been raised for Alzheimer’s research as the associations involved did not track if people were donating because of Dostaler’s efforts, however, for breast cancer research Dostaler estimates about $10,000 has been raised.
Whatever the amount, Dostaler says there have been countless experiences of people inspired by his run going above and beyond to help out. It has made all the difference in his trip.
“A random act of kindness can create an endless ripple,” stated Dostaler.
One example came last year from Ponoka area resident Darcy Cornelssen. Each province that Dostaler runs through, he makes a point of doing a 24-hour run. Last year Cornelssen jumped at the chance to run with Dostaler at an indoor track in Calgary.
Despite little to no media coverage of the event, the two managed to run 128 kms around a track that tested both their mental and physical endurance. At the end of the run Cornelssen gave his running shirt to Dostaler, which he has used at every significant run.
He has spoken at 80 schools and replied to more than 2,500 hand-written letters from students. Dostaler has made a special point of replying to each letter he receives.
When it comes down to it, he is most proud that he followed through with his original goal.
“It’s better to make one impact, and know that it was an impact, than to try and make tons and tons of small impacts,” said Dostaler.