Donald Peterson at the summit of a mountain he ran up. Peterson is running 50 kilometres every month for a year, in support of Help Fill A Dream and to celebrate his 50th birthday. (Courtesy of Donald Peterson)

Deep Cove man running 50 km every month through his 50th birthday year

Ultrarunner hopes Deep 50 Challenge will raise $5,000 for Help Fill A Dream

When many people hit the milestone of their 50th birthday, they share brews with friends, tuck into a cake or insist their family develops collective amnesia. Ultrarunner Donald Peterson took a different view, deciding to treat himself to 12 gruelling 50-kilometre races, over the course of his 50th year.

The Deep Cove resident is an accomplished ultra-endurance athlete who has run across deserts and through jungles, as well as being a seasoned competitor in North America. He decided to undertake his Deep 50 Challenge to raise funds and awareness for Help Fill A Dream, which assists children on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands who have been diagnosed with life-changing medical conditions.

ALSO READ: Deep Cove Mermaid raises eco-issues swimming Mexico, backed by Mexican Navy

“As a dad, I can imagine how tough it must be to have a child with a disability or for something terrible to happen, and for those parents, they have other things to worry about too. I’m an Island boy and Help Fill A Dream is an Island charity,” he explained.

The charity helps in a variety of ways, including with travel expenses, costs associated with having a child in hospital, home modifications and medications. Much of this practical help can seem as if dreams are coming true and Peterson has been moved by individual cases of children’s lives being enriched. He said often children don’t want to go to Disneyland or meet their favourite hockey player, but instead, their dream is something as simple as owning their own bike.

ALSO READ: New P.A.C.E. soccer club shoots for players

Running such great distances is beyond most people’s experience, and perhaps comprehension, but for Peterson, it is a realistic goal. He said 50 km is tough, but not as tough as a 24-hour relay event held at UVic a few years back when he ran 190 km.

“I like the challenge of running,” he said, “I like the journey you go through. It hurts up to a certain point and then its discomfort, and you just need to deal with that level of discomfort for the rest of the way, it doesn’t hurt any more or any less, it’s just painful.”

Peterson said the mental challenge is as satisfying as the physical, and he switches between disassociating himself from the pain and trouble-shooting why a part of his body is hurting. “You need to figure out mentally how to battle through the pain, there are peaks and valleys that you roll through on a mental wave.”

ALSO READ: And they’re off! Peninsula track and field season starts

So far, Peterson has completed four of the runs, with his most recent running around a block in Victoria for five hours. His May run will see him take on the 47 km Juan de Fuca trail, with three extra kilometres tacked on to make 50.

Later in the year, he plans to up the ante, taking on Vancouver Island’s highest peak, the Golden Hinde.

You can follow Peterson’s adventures on twitter @cotu_vi and support his Deep 50 Challenge by donating at canadahelps.org.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Three years for serial bank robber who hit Sidney branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Sidney, Abbotsford and Vancouver

Victoria police seek suspect in parkade break and enter

Cycling gear, tools reported stolen from vehicle, storage locker

Almost half of Canadian university students fear they cannot pay rising tuitions

COVID-19 also diminishing expectations for job market

Voting now ready for Arts Alive 2020 sculptures

Audio and written descriptions posted for all 10 sculptures

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Speculation tax misses speculators, B.C. Liberals say

Andrew Wilkinson, John Horgan clash over housing costs, solutions

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

Rare fish washes onto Whiffin Spit in Sooke

Deep water fish identified as ‘King-of-the-salmon’

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Most Read