The End to End Challenge: Cody Gillies

Two goals: beat the current 13-day trail record & and raise $25,000 for the pediatrics unit at Headwaters Health Care Centre.

September 21, 2012 | | The End to End Challenge

What a journey!

So to answer a few quick questions that people have been asking me. The new record is 12days 7hrs 39min. Yes I do expect it to be broken at some point. Many other ultra runners have way more experience and talent than I possess, so I expect the record to be broken. No I will not be disappointed if the record is broken, nor will I attempt the trail end to end again. I would love to get out and run with anyone attempting the trail as well as be at the finish to be the first to shake anyones hand that completes the trail.

The new record is 12days 7hrs 39min.
Donate online to support Headwaters Health Care and Cody’s Run at CanadaHelps.org.

The big question I have been asked is how did I do it? How did I push through the pain day after day? During the run I could not have told you, but I think I have it figured out.

If my goal was to simply beat the record in order to hold it, for personal reasons or pride, I wouldn’t have made it past day 4. I made a promise to my friends and community. If they believe in me and donate to Headwaters Health Care Foundation I will run the trail end to end. So when I received my first donation I knew I had to finish. The community more than held up their end of the deal, therefore all that was left was for me to honor my commitment.

So when the pain hit me day after day, kept me up at night, consumed all of my thoughts, I couldn’t quit because all those who supported me did not quit on me. So one foot in front of the other, grinding on until the end was the only option.

So this is why I say thank you to everyone and anyone who donated, promoted the cause, came out to support in person, ran with me, housed myself and support crew or simply had us in their thoughts. It is you who gave me the strength to go on, it is you who inspired me, it is you who I will be forever in debt to for making a dream come true.

An appreciation dinner is being planned for sometime in November for anyone involved in any way, or anyone who simply wishes to come. So stay tuned to the page for details. Donations are also open until November 9th so let’s keep them rolling in. Its a very worthy cause and can use every penny donated.
Forever thankful,
Cody Gillies

Congratulations Cody

…from the communities In The Hills for making your dream come true, for setting a record on traversing the Bruce Trail end to end and for raising over $30,000.00 for Headwaters Health Care Foundation!

Day 13 – Memories!

Good very early morning on Day 13, the final countdown is on. Excitement stirs amongst the End to End crew. Cody is making good time and by the time I see him next he will have about 40km to go, and the word on the trail is he doesn’t want to stop. Although don’t panic, you can still make it to Niagara to see him finish. Operation “Get ‘er Done” is certainly being executed to the fullest, but even he has to eat and sleep. Cody is currently running with 3 others and the support team is camped out on the side of the road prepping for his next check in.

I cannot fathom that we are so close to the end. At times it seems like yesterday I sat down in Tobermory and pulled out page 48 of the BruceTtrail map. At the moment we were somewhat naïve in regards to what this challenge required. Whatever it is we certainly found it. As I sit here and write this to you, I am glancing over at page 4. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into carrying out this achievement (all in a literal sense of course). Moments of determination and self-will conquered fleeting feelings of defeat. At the toughest of times laughter shone through. 13 days of pushing to the limits and beyond what one thought was capable. Nevertheless we have come to see that you cannot place value on the completion of the End to End Challenge. What it will mean to Cody as he approaches the stone marker this morning and has meant to so many others is nothing short of inspiring.

Good morning….until later today,

Quote of the Day-
“Careful, don’t give Cody too much praise or we will need a compression hat for his big head”
– Karen Gillies- loving mother

Fundraising status as of October 6, 2012

Fundraising target:$25000.00
Amount raised so far:$13578.50

Donate online to support Headwaters Health Care and Cody’s Run at CanadaHelps.org.

Still Smilin’ Wednesday afternoon 9 days into Ultra Marathon!

Cody is setting out to run the entire Bruce Trail. He has two goals: beat the current 13-day trail record, and raise $25,000 for the pediatrics unit at Headwaters Health Care Centre.

We’re going to be right there with him – sharing his highs and lows! We’ll have daily updates with photos and we can share comments back and forth — let’s all cheer him on to accomplish this feat and raise funds for our community’s hospital.

Fundraising target:$25000.00
Amount raised so far:$13288.50

Donate online to support Headwaters Health Care and Cody’s Run at CanadaHelps.org.

Friday October 5
Cody has been on the trail for 10 full days.

5:30 pm – Friday evening: We are currently in Waterdown and Cody has about 19.6km to go for the day. He is feeling tired and slightly light headed. Blog post will follow later this evening.

End to End Challenge 855kms Bruce Trail

Published on Oct 3, 2012 by

The Bruce Trail is the oldest and longest continuous footpath in Canada. It runs along the Niagara Escarpment from Niagara to Tobermory, spanning more than 855 km of main trail and 400 km of side trails.

Fundraising status as of October 5, 2012

Fundraising target:$25000.00
Amount raised so far:$13288.50

Donate online to support Headwaters Health Care and Cody’s Run at CanadaHelps.org.

Friday afternoon – Cody being interviewed by CHCH news in Hamilton

So apparently I spoke too soon when it came to replacing parts…don’t panic, I’m not talking about Cody. If you have been an avid follower of Cody’s progress you may have heard of his sage green 1973 Volkswagen Bus. Or maybe you have seen the countless photos posted. Regardless, the bus is our saving grace (and Cody’s pride & joy, no pressure though). Without it, going from stop to stop would be extremely difficult with all of the items and treatment Cody requires. Cody is so attached to his bus they even share some of the same traits, both seem to be falling apart ;-)

That being said, the End to End Challenge needs to send a huge thanks to Total Mechanical in Orangeville. We made an emergency stop between one of Cody’s check points today and it’s a good thing we did. The mechanics were amazing in mending one of the biggest members of the support team. The one pit stop we did have to run without the bus was slightly chaotic. Thank you all again and again, I know how busy you guys are! It means so much to us and you made these last few days easier in handling transportation.

Cody ran through Kelso Conservation yesterday and had his most improved day as he whistles along (literally). While running he commented “I feel like I am on a training run with a few friends”. We stayed at the Mohawk Inn and Banquet Centre, only a 7 minute drive from the trail. Thank you so much to all of the staff there. Everyone was very interested in the story and amazed at what Cody is accomplishing. Thank you to Lyn for washing his clothes ;-)

Aunt Kim is currently working her magic on Cody stretching him out as much as possible. His hips and ankles seem to be the nastiest areas. Running Free donated a new pair of compression socks yesterday. Ladies extra small. If that doesn’t keep the swelling down I don’t know what will. Jokes aside, witnessing Cody pull his socks on and off is one of the hardest parts of this task. His spirits are up despite how much agony his body is in. It’s enough to inspire anyone and I hope that you all are.

Good evening everyone, Until tomorrow…

Quote of the Day-

“ ohh my hips, my hips, my lovely lady hips”

– Cody Gillies, Black Eyed Peas cover

Day 10 – Thursday October 4

We know he is up and moving so far! At Forks of the Credit.

Day 10 – Double digits, Cody is up and moving at Forks of the Credit

 

Day 9 – Wednesday October 3

Good Morning Supporters. Cody, Kyle, Bernie and Mackenzie headed out on the trail at 6:30am this morning. Bit of fog, however the temperature is increasing. Mother Nature, Cody’s muscles and joints thank you. Now if you would be so kind to ensure sunshine that would be extra great!

Warmth and comfort (as much as possible) is the motto of the day. The morning started off with a hot bath and a cup of coffee.

A shout out to Miss. Severns french class! Thank you for following. Also Cody would like to thank all of the supporters who created the wonderful birthday card for him that he was presented with yesterday.

Cody will be moving through Hockley Valley this morning between 2nd and 3rd line in about an hour across from the old Woodside Restaurant. Through Albion Hills, Caledon East, Cataract and into Boston Mills. This is all dependant on the day he is having and how much fighting he does with his body.

These feet are going to need a pedicure!

Not only has he run about 600km, but he can now hold full length conversations with his legs. Accomplishing all sorts of miracles, as long as he does most of the talking we will continue to encourage this behaviour.

Fundraising target: $25000.00
Amount raised so far: $11530.00

Until … later today,

Quote of the Day-
“Run when you can, walk when you have to,
crawl if you must; just never give up”
– Courtesy of Jon Tamlin

Supporters and Devon in full Fire gear… Ran 3km good job man

Day 8 – Tuesday October 2

Off bright and early!

Good evening everyone. Before I begin this day’s adventure I have to express how much Cody and the whole team appreciates all of you coming out today. Your support and encouragement really keeps us going. Thank you all for your patience today.

Day 8 started in Lavender. Cody and Kyle headed out at about 6:30am and it seems we are going to push the start time to 6:30am from now on. As proven the past few days the morning is the hardest part of the day. After moving for so many hours and then having the night to sleep, the muscles tend to seize up. Not to mention the cold rain and tough trail. In regards to Cody’s mental state it is the tough reality that each morning he is heading back out anticipating the pain in his body. However somehow he perseveres and keeps moving. Starting the day in a harsh frame of mind tends to become harder to push through then the physical trail.

Cody placed a lot of pressure on himself and continues to do so. Although his frame of mind truly took a turn for the positive when his family from the Rosemont Fire Dept. showed up about 20km in. They really gave him the push he needed, and some first aid treatment as well. Followed closely by the numerous visitors & warm welcomes at the rest of his check points.

He is back at home this evening, Thank you to Karen for a lovely dinner. Over dinner the evening’s discussion was how to improve his mornings. We have a few plans and are hopeful they will make an improvement. Cody’s brilliant idea was coffee….. a true athlete.

He will have some more company on the trail tomorrow throughout the day and hopes to make some strong progress. We will be sure to keep you posted, also please refer to the facebook page for daily updates.

Until tomorrow…. And wishes for a bright morning- start your sun dances

Quote of the Day-
“Are there cameras down there?…how does my hair look?”
-Cody Gillies, delirious & vain

Monday October 1 – Day 7

End to End Challenge Support VW Bus

Day 7 ended with a solid 80km accomplished and a warm night at home. As you have all requested I have listed the itinerary below. Please come out and cheer Cody on for Day 8. Please keep in mind the times may vary…also please refer to the “rules and regulations”…we are highly official.

Checkpoint #2- at approximately 5:00pm- ** A bit behind, it’s been a rough day!
Hwy 89 & Hurontario Rd * Look for the cell towers

Checkpoint #3- at approximately ?pm-
On Dundby Rd. *Bruce trail Parking/ between 2nd Line EHS & 3rd Line EHS

Finish- at approximately ?pm
On Airport Rd, between Hockley valley Rd and 5th sideroad

End to End Challenge Support VW Bus

Look for the VW Bus, see you all tomorrow.

Quote of the Day-
Alli- “okay well… just try to find the silver lining”
Cody- “ oh yes, soooo much silver” (slight sarcasm)

Cody is a volunteer firefighter when he’s not fighting the Bruce Trail

Rules and Regulations as stated in the previous blog;
The next few pieces of information are crucial, as support crew it is my job to relay this to you.

1. Cody is extremely pleased to hear how many of your wish to meet up and cheer him on. Your words and support really keep him moving south
2. to keep up his pace and keep his muscles moving Cody only spends 15 minuets at each check point (typically this is 10…but he really wants to see you all)
3. No question is a stupid question. However Kyle & I will be curious to see how many creative ways Cody can answer “how are ya feeling?”. We have gotten a few spectacular replies out of him thus far.
4. During his check points he must complete a lot in a small amount of time (if you watch NASCAR you will understand)
5. Depending on what time of day you meet with us may not be meeting with Cody…but instead with a quieter version we like to call “Zombie Cody”
6. Lastly and yet most important, Cody is very, very sore. No hugs allowed, sorry guys (besides he is normally drenched with sweat it looks like he has been swimming, its really for your own good)
Please don’t let this discourage you from coming out and supporting him, it’s just the nature of the game. Having all of the positive company is huge fuel and a force like no other.

Monday October 1 – Day 7

Good afternoon everyone, Day 7 started out on the trail at 6:15am. Cody & Kyle had a very strong start and Cody has kept it up regardless of his constant pain. Cody is going through a technical part of the trail, therefore I was expecting him at least 30 min later then he has been arriving.

Cody is experiencing huge elevation changes today as he works past the highest elevation of the Bruce Trail. He is currently beyond the halfway point having covered 512km by the end of today and going strong.

Thank you to Peter & Anna for allowing us the use of your condo while Cody made his way through the Collingwood area.

A nice reprieve will come this evening as Cody makes his way into his hometown. He will be able to stay the night in his own bed in a familiar place. However as always the prospect of the ice bath is looming

I have had many request’s in regards to posting Cody’s times and locations. Some of you have even been able to find us on the trail, good job explorers! You will all get your wishes granted as I will be posting the locations and times for tomorrows run later this evening.

The next few pieces of information are crucial,
as support crew it is my job to relay this to you.

1. Cody is extremely pleased to hear how many of your wish to meet up and cheer him on. Your words and support really keep him moving south
2. to keep up his pace and keep his muscles moving Cody only spends 15 minuets at each check point (typically this is 10…but he really wants to see you all)
3. No question is a stupid question. However Kyle & I will be curious to see how many creative ways Cody can answer “how are ya feeling?”. We have gotten a few spectacular replies out of him thus far.
4. During his check points he must complete a lot in a small amount of time (if you watch NASCAR you will understand)
5. Depending on what time of day you meet with us may not be meeting with Cody…but instead with a quieter version we like to call “Zombie Cody”
6. Lastly and yet most important, Cody is very, very sore. No hugs allowed, sorry guys (besides he is normally drenched with sweat it looks like he has been swimming, its really for your own good)

Please don’t let this discourage you from coming out and supporting him, it’s just the nature of the game. Having all of the positive company is huge fuel and a force like no other.

Looking forward to seeing you all very soon, and good job with the donations!!!

Quote of the Day- RATED PG13
(while Cody applies Bag Balm to sensitive areas)
“There is nothing like watching my brother butter up his nuts”
-Kyle Gillies…6am

Donate online to support Headwaters Health Care and Cody’s Run at CanadaHelps.org.

Sunday September 30 – Day 6

Cody headed out of Beaver Valley this morning at 6:00am with good spirits about him. A complete change from the day before. His physical body was still in pain however his mental state was stronger then it has been.

As support crew I had company this morning navigating with Karen, Johnny and Kyle. And can you believe it, 4 pairs of eyes on a map and the first time I missed him. Ironic how that happens. I was starting to get concerned when he was an hour late, however I checked my cell only to find out he passed us and went 35km (we were supposed to meet at 20km).

Once we finally caught up with him the sun was out and he was making great progress.

At the checkpoint half way through the day Cody had some family to greet him for the 10 minutes he was passing through. Words of encouragement were exchanged and he was on his way again.

Kyle joined Cody for his last leg of the day. Adding a fresh optimistic attitude to the atmosphere is always great, and when it comes to Kyle, he is specialized in comic relief.

Cody went up until about 7:45pm this evening and said “I don’t know what has happened but I am feeling great”. A smile on his face and plans for a beer after with a few friends had all of our spirits up.

Cody will be at the top of Blue Mountain first thing tomorrow…and between you and I, that is his halfway mark. By the end of tomorrow he will have completed more of the trail then what is left and by Tuesday will be in his hometown area. I will do my best to give you all accurate details on where he is.

Good evening everyone, until tomorrow…

Quote of the Day
“I don’t know what has gotten into you…but keep it, I like it”
“Ya, exactly what Alli said”
-Allison Kennedy & Kyle Gillies

Saturday September 29 – Day 5, Trouble on the Trail

So it seems I spoke too soon. Just when you thought “Day 4” he hit rock bottom… we were wrong.

I went to meet up with Cody & Steve, anticipating to see them at 9:00am. Instead at 11:30am Cody rounded the bend and my heart sank. He could hardly walk and the remnants of a broken spirit were splashed on his face. Codys muscles were fighting against him and at this point seem to be winning. Steve pepped him up to walk another 4km, however upon this arrival Cody had to stop and consider his options. With a message left for Aunt Kim (chiropractor/life saver), Cody decided to invest in tomorrow and call it a day. His decision was to wait for treatment and hope for the best. It was a very tough call; however we were unsure how his body would respond if he went further. Not wanting to continue the damage, we dropped Steve off in Flesherton with a promise to call as soon as we knew if Cody were to continue the End to End Challenge.

If you have ever met Cody you will know he does not throw in the towel. His focus and determination is astonishing. This was a very tough moment to witness and as a spectator you cannot relate. The drive was silent and the aura thick with disappointment. In the rear-view mirror I saw him pick up his phone. It was Kim with words of wisdom.

“… Your muscles are beyond hurt, that wont change, if you do not get your self back on that trail you today, you never will”

Day 5 Cody Gillies getting soaked on the Bruce Trail

You could say it was not what he wanted to hear, but what he needed to. As for me, with the professionals on board with continuing I turned to him after he hung up the phone.

“If you are done being a pansy now, you should start getting your shoes back on”

A few chuckles later and a proclamation of his insanity he got geared up and set out solo. I agreed to meet with him every 7-10km to make sure he was still kicking. All I can say to you is that I Cody I left at the Blantyre check point was not the one I saw leaping out of the forest waving with a ridiculous smile on his face 1 hour later. Mind over matter. He accepted that this was not going to be easy, that it will hurt and his body will scream in protest. Once he acknowledged this, he made it his new goal to overcome.

As an observer you go from a state of concern & grief to astonishment watching someone overcome an internal battle with themselves. Cody had two options, quit or continues…since quitting was never an option he had to suck it up and move forward.

Quote of the Day
(as the clouds started rolling in and he was making his new attempt at the trail)
“when it rains it pours”
-Cody Gillies (before he got drenched)

Saturday September 29 – Day 5, Morning

Day 5 – Cody Gillies getting his legs shaved! Smooooth

The sun is up and Cody is back on the trail. The location we were at last night was a 40 min drive from the trail this morning. I was a bit of a slave driver but he made it on time to meet up with Steven Bradshaw. They headed onto the trail at exactly 6am this morning.

If the rumors are true then day four of any ultra run tends to be the toughest… according to Cody yesterday, that could very well be true. If that is the case then we are only going up from here.

Quite a few positives for today:

  1. The weather is once again on our side
  2. Cody had his ankles looked at and treated, following a good nights sleep
  3. Cody’s brother, Kyle, arrives today…if you understand the relationship between Cody & Kyle you can imagine the comfort that will bring to Cody.
    3a. Not to mention the complete chaos and shenanigans
  4. The Donations towards Headwaters Pediatric Center continue to grow
  5. Cody continues to move forward at a consistent pace
  6. ….and lastly…. the pictures of Cody shaving his legs are up (not all the positives have to be in Cody’s favor)

I will have further updates for you this evening.

Enjoy your sunny morning, until this evening….

Quote of the day

{while on two phone calls, taking instruction for Cody’s vitamins and typing an e-mail}
“Alli, it sounds like you are running the control room at NASA”
– Johnny (on the other end of the phone…relaxing)

Friday September 28 – Day 4

The 70km day began chilly & wet, however Cody was in familiar company with Karen. They ran 20km before meeting up with me, and due to some miscommunication I was actually at a check point 3 km before I was supposed to be. (I would like to note however that I have yet to get lost…. so far) After consecutive days of endurance running your confidence tends to come in waves and your mental state is truly important. Cody refused to stop and fuel up before 20 km…. so I hopped in the Van and drove 10 min to meet him at exactly 20km. Keeping promises to yourself and having the check points as visible markers (20km intervals in this case) is crucial. Read the full blog posting…

Thursday September 27 – Day 3

Check point #2- 40 km in for day 3 and lunch time.


Wednesday September 26 – Day 2

Day 2 – Great day today. I got put in my place for the first 40km. Tough trail. Really technical. Scott Garrett kept me going. The mantra was just keep heading south. After hooking up with my number 1 support crew Allison Kennedy and getting fueled up with a slice of pizza the second half of the day finished strong. My legs actually feel better tonight than they did last night. A big thanks to Scott for his support and I wish him good luck with completing his 12 100mile races this year. (one a month) Read the full blog posting…

Tuesday September 25

Day 1 – Good evening everyone! Day 1 started at 6am and has now come to a close at 6:10pm Complete with beautiful weather, scenery and ending with dinner at the Lions Head Inn. Cody is in good spirits and looking forward to tomorrow Blog will follow… Once we track down some wifi 😉 thank you all for your donations! Always a great motivator.
In The Hills note: We should have sent him with a Hot Spot!!

Bruce Trail Marker

Bruce Trail Marker at the Northern Terminus

Sunday September 23

Wow…. as I walk up to the trail end marker in Tobermory today the End to End Challenge has become very real in my mind. I am excited to put the last years worth of training into use.
People have been asking me how I have been feeling as the days counted down. Usually they prompt me using words like nervous, scared, worried and intimidated. I am not sure if I am just ignorant to the magnitude of what I am about to begin or I am just truly ready to accomplish this goal. I am nothing but relaxed and at peace as I stand here in front of this rock cairn that marks one of the largest mental and physical challenges I will ever face.

What makes these feelings possible is the massive support system I have behind me. The dedication of my friends, family and community takes the weight off of my shoulders and allows me to only worry about putting one foot in front of the other. Thank you for giving me the courage to stand at the start line. I look forward to standing at this markers twin in Niagara with the same feeling I have today.
Cheers, Cody

About the Author More by Cody Gillies

Cody Gillies, a 22 year old Orangeville resident is determined to beat the current record for a 550 mile (885 km) Bruce Trail Run & raise substantial funds for his community's hospital. Follow the full End-to-End Challenge Blog or read Tim Schuff's article Cody Gillies: End-to-end.

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Cody Gillies: End-to-end

Jun 19, 2012 | Tim Shuff | Back Issues

Cody Gillies aims to run the Bruce Trail in record time – and raise money for sick kids at Headwaters Health Care Centre!

Comments

5 Comments

  1. I was throwing up a blog article on the Bruce Trail and came across this as I was reading up on the Bruce Trail. Congratulations. You must feel great for doing this and I suspect it will be something that stays with you always. Just wanted to drop in and give you kudos for all of it and say that you have some great support people from what I’ve read.

    Darcy on Oct 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply

  2. What a wonderful idea ! and Bless you for having the strength and perserverence to carry through.Go Cody go!

    Grace Sanderson from orangeville on Sep 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply

  3. Sept, 26th at 3:30 PM…just wondering if Cody is on his way & whether or not there will be daily blog posts & pix as promised. I am keen to follow his progress.
    Also wondering whether or not Cody is interested in a couple of hours of company here & there.

    Glenn Bourgeau from Palgrave (on a Bruce Trail side trail) on Sep 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply

    • Glen, we know he’s out and made it past Lion Head, seems they’ve had a few issues finding WIFI to keep us updated. Watch this page and we’ll keep you posted! Thanks

      Valerie from The Hills on Sep 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Reply

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