Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Hero

This woman, Shannon Loutitt ran from Edmonton, Albterta to Athabasca. A distance of more than 100 miles. It's pretty much the coolest thing I've ever had the pleasure of being a part of.

For a week or so, the story I wrote will be up here, and the photos here.

Here are a few pics that I didn't put in the paper or the website.

The story in a nutshell is that 100 odd years ago a man named Billy Loutit was a mail runner for the Hudson's Bay Company. He was extremely good at this job and on his off time enjoyed dancing, singing and general merriment.

In 1904 the was a flood in Athabasca that threatended to destroy some important goods in the area so word had to be sent. The sent Billy and a guy on horse.

Billy beat the horse by an hour. Amazing.

So anywho, years later, they want Billy to be the mail runner to and from Edmonton and he obliges, eventually becoming sick. He died in Edmonton, and due to lack of funds his family could not afford to bring him back.

Fast forward 100 odd years and you get a few nice Athabascans wanting to make a triathlon. They're thinking that they want it to be both athletic and fun so they do research to find someone who fits the description and lo and behold, it's Billy. No big deal to them.

Here's the website for the Billy Loutit Triathlon.

So anyway, after a few years all these Loutitt's (two t's it's a long story) start showing up interested in the family history.

Eventually this one woman in particular comes along, that being Shannon, smoker, general lazy person and she wants to run this triathlon just to prove her self.

She comes in third.

Tries again, comes in first.

She's so inspired she runs the Boston Maraton.

Of course she's happy but it's not enough. Knowing the story she feels she has to complete the cycle, that is bring her great-grandfather's spirit back home.

So then she embarks on this whole journey. Runs it in 24h 45m.


I'm just so happy I could even meet her and speak with her several times.

On the note of inspiration, Ray Zahab, also one of the friggin coolest people on the planet.

Check out his website. The guy ran across the sahara desert in 111 days. Matt Damon made a movie about it.

That's it. I didn't post the pics yet. but just check out the links, those are the best ones anyway.