In which I train for the Fanfit Challenge

Today I discovered that I’d made the cut for the Run Nova Scotia team for the Fanfit Challenge. That’s right: the members of Run Nova Scotia apparently took a vote, asking, which among all of the members is the slowest and therefore would make the rest of us look good by comparison?

That’s right! They picked me. I’m so honoured.

Just what is the Fanfit Challenge, you might wonder? It’s actually a great event taking place at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax and it’s open to spectators. The challenge pairs teams of amateur athletes with Olympic and aspiring Olympic athletes who coach the teams through five events. 

The entry fees help support the athletes as they prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The athletes include para athletics sprinter Jackie Marciano, cyclist Stuart Wright and sprint kayaker Genevieve Orton. The Run Nova Scotia Team’s coach is 800 metre runner Celia Peters. 

Peters won the 2013 open women’s race at the MACPASS Bridge Mile in a time of 5:02.

The five events Peters will coach us through as we compete against other teams and athletes are 2000 metres on a rowing machine, 5,000 metres on a spin bike, a 10-metre strength pull, a pro agility sprint test, and a 3,000 metre track run.

Given that the event is this Saturday, I figured I’d better get training. So despite the fact that a raging blizzard was under way, dumping some 20 centimetres of snow amidst howling winds, I put my running shoes on and prepared to do a long run while dragging a truck tire behind me. 

That’s what they call cross-fit, right?

The only problem was, when I got outside – with the hard pellets of snow whipping against my face, which the wind was practically peeling off anyway – I realized I didn’t have a truck tire.

That was easily solved. I stood in the middle of my street for about an hour. And to those who are patient, good things come. In this instance, it was the snow plow. 

The enormous truck almost sheared sideways as the driver slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting me in the middle of the road. Clearly agitated, he opened his door and began to yell at me, and climbed down from his truck. Unfortunately, in the chase that ensued, he slipped and knocked his head on the ice. 

He wasn’t the lightest fella ever. It took me about 15 minutes to haul him up my driveway and dump him in my garage. But hey, I thought, great training for the 10-metre strength pull.

For the next hour I worked at trying to get the left rear wheel off the truck. It wasn’t easy. The wheel nuts had frozen in place and I had resort to a blow torch to unfreeze them. Plus I was worried that any time now the driver would regain conciousness and then I’d get some quality training in for the 3,000 metre run, for sure!

When I finally had the wheel removed from the truck, it was a simple bit of business to loop some rope around it and then fasten the rope, harness-like, around my shoulders. I lunged forward into the blistering wind and promptly felt my feet go from under me. Next thing I knew I was sitting on the road in considerable pain. Obviously, the tire weighed a little more than I originally thought.

That was it! I’d had enough training for one night.

I returned to the garage just in time to see buddy coming around. “Nasty spill, you had there, fella,” I told him. “Do you recall what happened?”

Confused, he looked at me. “Nah. I can’t remember a thing. One minute, I’m driving my plow and the next here I am?”

I said, “That’s grea…uh, tough. Don’t you worry now, as soon as this storm dies down, we’ll get you to where you can receive some proper medical care.”

Well now, what a night of training that was! I’m betting Celia Peters didn’t train nearly as hard. Now if the city would just send a tow truck to move that plow in the middle of the street….

For more information on the challenge, go here:

Hope to see everyone at the Canada Games Centre on Saturday.


About subthree

A multiple award-winning journalist, I'm currently a contributing editor with both Canadian Running and Canadian Cycling magazines. My articles have appeared in Explore, Canadian Geographic, enRoute, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other magazines and newspapers. Formerly a competitive cross-country mountain biker, I switched to running in 2006. I've run seven marathons, qualifying for Boston five times (and which I've run once). Generally, I've placed or won in my age group in races, in distances ranging from five and 10 kms to half and full marathons. I've also taught spin classes at a number of leading Eastern Canadian gyms. Sub-three was a 2012 #Runchat finalist for Best Overall Blog.
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