The Bruce Trail, Southwestern Ontario – For ultrarunners, those who run/hike distances that exceed the length of a marathon at 42.195 km or (26.2 miles), the Bruce Trail is a dream come true. It is perhaps one of Canada’s best kept secrets, but it will now be getting increased visibility because of the efforts of one runner in particular, Rhonda-Marie Avery.
Avery is running to raise awareness for disabled athletes through Achilles Canada which is a non-profit that pairs the disabled with volunteer guides to assist them in sports they would otherwise be unable to engage in.
In the case of Mrs. Avery, she’s not paying the organization forward. She’s giving back. She’s legally blind and a grateful recipient of the organization’s services.
“My name is Rhonda-Marie Avery. I am legally blind. And I run. And I bike. And I swim. A lot,” Avery writes on her GoFundMe page.
She explains her quest as a way to empower herself and support the organization that has given her so much.
“I’m on a quest….to be the most powerful verb in my own life. None of these activities are easy for me to manage without the help of Achilles Canada. This nonprofit organization connects those with disabilities with volunteer guides. Over the years, they have helped me to take part in events from 5Km to 100 miles of running, 13km of tethered open water swimming, and 500km of tandem cycling. ”
So just how long is the Bruce Trail? End to end, it is 885 kilometers or 550 miles. In order to achieve her goal, Avery will need to run/hike 44.25 kilometers (27.5 miles) per day. Doing the daily quota once is a feat for most people.
During her journey, she will experience the majestic beauty of this veritable wonderland of waterfalls, mossy trees, morning mists, bear country, and hallowed ground.
Despite being legally blind, Avery is a bona fide ultrarunner having endured a 100 km (62 km) tethered run, bicycled 500 km (~311 miles) on a tandem bicycle and countless other adventures.
In order to complete such a daunting journey, Avery is hoping to raise $10,000. The money will help cover costs including food, lodging and medical expennsies during her run. Thus far, her donations have reached $860.
Avery’s epic journey will commence on Sunday, August 3 and finish on Saturday, August 23.
“Rhonda-Marie will be starting her quest to run the Bruce Trail from the north end to the south end,” according to a description on her site. “Each day accompanied by two guide runners, they will travel at least the distance of a marathon (42.2km). Each night they will be billeting with a volunteer family who has kindly opened their doors.”
She has an open invitation to well-wishers to join her for the final 5km (~3 miles) of the journey to complete the race in a show of support. In the spirit of the Paralympic Games, it’s not about what she’s missing it’s about what she has and that is courage.
A documentary film with the working title of ‘8% No Limit’, about Avery’s Bruce Trail adventure, is currently in the works.
You can help support Rhonda on her journey by making a donation on her GoFundMe page.
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