By Lacy J. Hansen for DietsInReview.com
“Have you ever seen a family of eight running together as a team across the country with a common purpose?”
That question greets you on the Marathon of Health website, and we can honestly say, no, we’ve never seen that. The Chicoine family is currently running their “Marathon of Health,” a personal vision by a family of eight. The adventure is a 20,000 kilometer, or nearly 12,500 mile, trek around North America. They are running in a relay style and average about 55 miles a day. The mission is to create a wellness revolution and inspire 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. The journey started May 8, 2011 in Vancouver B.C. and just recently entered New England. The family stops in the communities they visit to speak and motivate people to make fitness and nutritional changes to improve their lives. The Chicoines want to see a reversal in the rising adult and childhood obesity statistics and are running to raise $5 million to support the efforts of charities that fight against childhood obesity.
Once the Chicoines leave the east coast they will travel along the southern border of the U.S. and then back up the Pacific coast before returning to Vancouver B.C. in spring 2012.
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.
We had a chance to talk with Dr. Chicoine and he explained 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.”
Dr. Chicoine also shared that this is the first exposure to running for most of his family.
“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.”
The family has gotten a lot out of the experience so far, as Dr. Chicoine explains:
“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.”
And for a family on the road, we were impressed to hear just how well their diets are holding up. No doubt a necessity for this level of endurance.
“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.”