Dave Proctor is running across Canada this summer. And he is doing it in 66 days to raise over $1 million for rare disease research.

When I tell people about this extraordinary run, they often want to know how he will have time to:

  • enjoy Canada
  • rest
  • raise awareness about rare diseases, and
  • stay strong?

He plans to do all of those bullet points every day because he has a well-organized team to help him.

Dave’s run will have 2 motorhomes, 1 SUV, and a team of individuals with him either physically or virtually  to help him everyday of his 7200 Km run.

In an exclusive interview with Zeal Access, Dave said, “Fraserway RV is kind enough to provide 2 RVs. One RV is going to have my wife and kids. The other RV is going to have my friends Wayne and Trish Gaudet.”

Dave added, “my wife is responsible for getting my sorry butt out of bed every morning and getting me on the road running by sunrise.” Then she and the kids have the entire day to enjoy Canada and they meet up with Dave for supper at a preplanned location (11 hours later).

“Wayne and Trish will be my crew. Coaching, motivating, feeding me, and so on, throughout the day. “

There will also be a 3rd vehicle doing the trip. Dave said, “We will have an events coordinator (Lisa Houle) who will be driving an SUV, thanks to Country Hills Hyundai.” She will be driving ahead of Dave and coordinating events at towns and cities that Dave runs through.

“What Lisa is really good at is drumming up support, rallying the troops, grabbing the megaphone, etc.,” said Dave. Other staff will also be assisting in the run. From Calgary, Stephanie Gillis-Paulsgaard at takeroots.ca will be setting up interviews, writing press releases etc so that the team is well prepared when they approach every major center to raise more awareness about rare diseases.

Dave ProctorAnd Dave is the first to admit that he needs a team to help him raise awareness. Running an average of 108 Km a day is exhausting. Then asking him to stay on message for an interview is almost impossible. Fortunately, the team is ready. Dave said, “Throughout the day, I’m going to have an earpiece in my ear and I will be on the phone with Lisa, my crew, and others, like my brother Dan who is our project manager. They’re going to be giving the instructions so that if I have an interview, they will remind me what the key points are for that talk. I am a better runner than a communicator. So I need a team to keep my on task.”

Also helping Dave will be a world-renowned hatmaker – Smithbilt Hats.

Dave is from Calgary. As such, he runs in a cowboy hat. When I asked him how that hat stays on and doesn’t give him headaches, his response was that the hat being designed for the cross-Canada run will not be any ordinary cowboy hat.

“A few months ago I met with the CEO of Smithbilt Hats  and explained that I have a problem that I think his company can solve. I will be running everyday, in extreme weather, with big trucks passing by me on a regular basis. I need a light, aerodynamic hat that will keep me cool, dry, and most importantly, stay on.”

And the hat, now in its 3rd prototype, is great.  “I do a lot of training on highways and big transport trucks go by. And it’s almost a test,  it’s like I want it to blow off but it never does.“

Dave also noted that the hat is fitted properly and contours to your head so that there are no pressure points. It also has a cooling system so that wet clothes or ice blocks can be added to the hat to keep him cool.

The hat will be available this summer and a portion of the proceeds will go towards the Rare Disease Foundation.

For more information about Dave’s summer run, visit outrunrare.com

For more information about where the funds raised from the run will go, visit rarediseasefoundation.org