Starting 9 am, January 1st, Parnell will be out on the road and starting his first marathon of the year — the first of 250 that he intends to run in 2010.
5 days a week Parnell will be on the roads, taking off only Fridays and Saturdays for rest. This wasn’t Parnell’s first plan though, initially he intended to run 365 marathons but after seeing his doctor — a mountaineer who has climbed Everest — the 54-year-old was told he should cut his plans back a bit, thus settling on the mere 250 marathons instead.
His goal is to raise $250,000 for a charity called Right to Play, “an international humanitarian organization that uses sports and play programs to improve health, develop life skills and foster peace for children in developing countries. It also has programs in 4,500 schools in Canada.”
Parnell only took up running seven years ago after his older brother challenged him to a marathon, within 6 months he was qualifying for the Toronto Marathon and then the Boston Marathon, which he ran for the first time in 2004.
“Obviously, I liked it and I just kept going,” he said.
Twelve of the 250 marathons will be official races, in places like Calgary, Boston and Vancouver, but the rest will be on the certified marathon course near his home. Parnell will be sending real-time data tracking his location, speed and heart rate to his website, marathonquest250.com along his nearly 7,000 mile journey.
“I kind of like challenges where I don’t know if I can do this,” Parnell said, “I think it can be done. And I like that.”