That’s the question displayed across the Marathon of Health website, and we can honestly say, no, we’ve never seen that until now. The Chicoine family is currently running their “Marathon of Health,” a personal vision come to life by a unique family of eight. The adventure is a 20,000 kilometer, or nearly 12,500 mile trek around North America with the purpose of creating a Wellness Revolution and inspiring people of all ages to live healthier, more active lives.
The family of two parents and 6 kids is lead by Dr. Ed Chicoine, a chiropractor. They began their journey on May 8, 2011 in Vancouver B.C. and just recently entered the eastern sea board of the United States. Along the way, the family has visited many towns and communities and on their stops are speaking and motivating people to make fitness and nutritional changes to improve their lives. The family wants to see a change in the rising problem of adult and childhood obesity and are running to raise $5 million to support the efforts of charities that fight against childhood obesity.
The Chicoines will make their way down along the southern border and then back up the Pacific coast, and eventually end back in Vancouver B.C. They are running in a relay style and average about 55 miles a day.
With such an amazing and inspiring story, I had a lot of questions for the Chicoine family that Dr. Chicoine was happy to answer as the rest took a breather in Boston, MA.
It’s fair to assume most are curious where this extravagant idea came from. Dr. Chicoine explained of the family’s decision to run, “It was my idea. I had a goal. When I was 20-something years old, back in 1980, I had this idea that I wanted to run across Canada. So, 31 years later, I decided why not do it now? I set a goal to run across Canada and the U.S. and when I told the kids about this, they basically said that there was no way I was doing it by myself and that they were going to join me.”
The miles the Chicoines are all putting in on a daily basis are pretty intense for even the most seasoned runner, so I was surprised to find out this is the first exposure to running most of the family has ever had.
“I’ve been a runner most of my life,” Dr. Chicoine admitted. “Jake [the youngest son] was the only guy who ran long distances. The girls only ran sporadically and short distances. Basically, the first date in Vancouver was, for the girls, probably, the first time they’ve ran over 10 km.”
They’ve been at this feat for months now, though, and their proud dad says they’ve grown so much since day one.
“The first month was very hard on all of us because we were running every day, and through the Rocky Mountains, so it took a huge toll on us. Plus our body had to get used to it. But now we feel like when we do a 10 mile run it’s a piece of cake. It’s amazing how your body adapts.”
“We’ve eaten in a restaurant maybe 4 or 5 times total. We cook our own food and that’s how we manage. We buy produce every 2-3 days. We follow a very strict diet, which is extremely important for our recovery. We eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Lots of seeds –Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds.”
This adventure has had it ups and downs. Dr. Chicoine explained how a motor home meant for two, housing eight has been a real low in the trip. However, it seems the highs are outweighing the lows. Dr. Chicoine’s favorite part?
“Seeing the country on foot is such a different perspective. It’s really, really cool. Now we’re getting to know the U.S. meeting people is another highlight. There are such nice people.”
He followed up by adding, “What really saves us is the running. It frees our spirit and gives us a whole new perspective. Running has been our savior.”
Those final words alone are a great reason to join their Wellness Revolution and get moving. The family is attempting to get 1,000,000 people to sign their online petition. With that many united voices, the family plans to reach out to food, fitness, health industries, and government and demand healthy changes. The petition can be signed at the Marathon of Health website.