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

Just Posted

Peninsula Panthers lose two straight for first time in season

Panthers have now lost five games, including three against the Victoria Cougars

Barbecue cooks up benefits for Movember foundation

Father’s battle with prostate cancer encourages Victoria man to support the cause

SD63 strike officially ends with union’s vote to accept agreement

More than 7,000 Saanich and Peninsula students back to school Monday

Hundreds flock to the Bay for annual Unwrap the Glam Gala

Glamorous event supports mental health initiatives across Canada

Driver taken to hospital after single-vehicle rollover crash near VGH

Police said alcohol and drugs weren’t a factor in Sunday’s crash

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

BC SPCA seeks help after senior cat attacked by dog twice

Nine-year-old tabby named Meow Meow will need her front leg amputated

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

Abbotsford police chief mulls more enforcement of homeless lawbreakers

‘When all else has failed we have to hold people accountable,’ Police Chief Mike Serr tells council

Striking Vancouver hotel workers, employer reach ‘tentative’ agreement

Employees of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia have been out at picket lines since talks broke off on Sept. 21

Environmental and animal rights activists chain themselves to front doors of Kelowna bank

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Most Read