Local athlete Kip Arlidge has completed a record-breaking, multi-day trail run along the Bruce Trail.
Starting in Tobermory on Friday, June 18 and arriving in Niagara on Sunday, June 27, Arlidge completed the approximately 900 km trail in nine days, three hours, and 27 minutes, beating the previous best time by 13 hours. The trail’s length is the equivalent of about 21 marathons.
“This run was about efficiently covering the distance in a way that was minimally damaging to my body,” he said.
Arlidge, who is now a science professor at Canadore College, began running competitively in high school and by university it had become a major part of his life. He thought about attempting this record for more than a year and a half before, in January 2021, he began planning and training. Arlidge knew it would be a huge undertaking and made sure to stack his team with supportive friends and fellow runners.
Lowell Greib and Rob Horton of the Muskoka Algonquin Runners were huge supports in pacing his run. Greib, naturopathic doctor and owner of The SportLab, assisted Arlidge with both nutrition and training. On one of his Bruce Trail running days, Greib got up at 2:30 a.m. to drive down and help.
In addition to runners he met along the way, Arlidge brought along university running friends who drove the minivan, helped with mapping and navigation, and met him with food.
(Above left) Kip Arlidge (centre) with pacers/crew Maddy McDonald (left) and Eric MacPherson at a road crossing (photo: Megan Arlidge); (above right) Arlidge and MacPherson take a H2MC-style (Highway 2 McDonald’s Challenge) snack break (photo: Trish Arlidge)
Megan, Kip’s wife, is a chiropractor. She helped to design a training program and met them on weekends during the run to help out with acupuncture and taping to assist joint alignment.
“Towards the last third of the run I was only sleeping around three hours a night in order to meet my goal so having a good crew was absolutely essential,” said Arlidge. “I owe a lot to my team and it would have all been completely impossible without them.”
(Above left) Arlidge takes a 10-minute trailside power nap (photo: Michael Styba);
(above right) Feet take a beating with that many kilometres (photo: Megan Arlidge)
Before completing the Bruce Trail, Arlidge’s longest run had been 100 miles. His comfort zone is in distances of 50-100km.
“This was certainly an adventure and part of the learning process,” he said. “It’s been cool to look back on and it was very rewarding. I learned a lot about how hard I could push myself.”
(Above left) Arlidge on a road section of the Bruce Trail (photo: Megan Arlidge);
(above right) An aid station overlooking Georgian Bay (photo: Michael Styba)
The Bruce Trail Conservancy doesn’t keep records or encourage people to attempt this feat as it’s very difficult, but Arlidge’s time can be found at fastestknowntime.com
He is currently taking a month off from any running to recover and is just starting to walk normally again.
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