When it comes to hiking and backpacking in Canada, two of the more popular, and scenic, routes are along the East and West Coast Trails. The East Coast Trail stretches for 340 miles along the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, while the West Coast Trail runs for 47 miles along Vancouver’s southwestern shoreline. While the trails are separated by thousands of miles, they do both offer unique challenges to anyone who takes them on from end to end.
Recently, endurance athlete Gary Robbins set the daunting goal for himself to attain speed records on both of these trails, starting in Vancouver and the WCT on August 4th. Running North to South, Gary completed the entire 47 miles in just 10 hours and 8 minutes, which does indeed establish a new record for that route. Of course, that was just a warm-up for the much longer, and more challenging ECT, which he began on August 20th and completed on the 22nd, finishing the entire route in a blistering 35 hours and 17 minutes. Pretty impressive runs on both accounts considering the distance involved and terrain crossed. Even more so when you consider that a large portion of the East Coast Trail remains mostly unmarked and hasn’t been fully developed yet.
Check out the video below of Gary arriving at the finish line on the ECT. I don’t know about you but just thinking about these runs makes my legs hurt! I guess this is the summer for adventure racers and endurance athletes to challenge some of these spectacular trails in North America. Congrats to Gary on a job well done!
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