Fastest Run Across Canada: Alberta Ultrarunner Dave Proctor Breaks Record

Dave Proctor averaged a highly productive 65-plus miles a day to cross Canada in a record time of 67 days and change, breaking Al Howie’s 1991 record.

By on July 22, 2022 | Leave a reply

Running from Newfoundland to British Columbia over two months and change, an Alberta, Canada, athlete has broken a long-standing speed record.

Dave Proctor took off from the Terry Fox monument in Newfoundland in mid-May and arrived at the Terry Fox Monument in British Columbia on July 21, 2022. The trip earned him the record as the fastest person to run across Canada, where he covered the 7,159-kilometer (4,448 miles) distance in 67 days, 10 hours, and some to be confirmed minutes.

He averaged a highly productive 65-plus miles per day to break Al Howie’s previous record of 72 days and 10 hours, which he set in 1991.

“I’m blessed to have this opportunity, and [I’m] grateful,” Proctor told Vancouver’s CTV News after he crossed the finish line. “I’ve just seen the most beautiful country in the world, and I suggest every Canadian do the same very thing.”

He later suggested everybody else just drive the distance.

Dave Proctor - 2017-18 Across the Years

Dave Proctor running the 2017/2018 Across the Years event in Arizona. Photo: Aravaipa Running

Across a Continent

Dry humor is far from lost on Proctor, who opted for a highly visible cowboy hat as a calling card on the run. Though he’s also prone to wax poetic on the beauty of his country and the profundity of the experience (especially via social media), he’s also proven he won’t spare a joke at his own expense.

 

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A post shared by Dave Proctor (@runproctor)

“I’ve run 7,159 kilometers [4,448 miles] through rugged Newfoundland, breathtaking Nova Scotia, rolling New Brunswick, beautiful Quebec, gigantic and desolate Ontario, flat Manitoba, the colorful fields of Saskatchewan, the ranch lands of Alberta, and the epic mountains of British Columbia,” he wrote on Instagram. “… [Relied] on friends and families support, made new friends, ate boatloads of bakery items, burned through 12 pairs of shoes.”

He went on to characterize the journey as “priceless.” What does Proctor plan to do next?

“I’m really looking forward to coffee in bed tomorrow,” he wrote, “and if you are asking, no, I’ll be taking tomorrow off running.”

Anatomy of a Record: No Blisters (Really, No Blisters!)

From the sound of things, Proctor earned his reposed coffee date. Of course, he completed the run with consistent support, especially from his girlfriend, Lana Ledene. But the equivalent of summiting Everest five times can’t only be an occasion for making jokes.

On a particularly brutal day 40, he faceplanted and sustained a facial laceration that proceeded to bleed openly in the humid, 90-plus-degree Fahrenheit temperatures.

 

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A post shared by Dave Proctor (@runproctor)

All in all, though, Proctor looks to have remained blissfully upbeat. We would, too, if we could rack up that much running and suffer zero blisters.

 

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A post shared by Dave Proctor (@runproctor)

Proctor secured the record after a previous failed attempt in 2018, on which he headed west to east and tried to raise awareness for the Rare Disease Foundation. On that attempt, he said, managing both projects at once produced an overload, and he pulled out with an injury in Manitoba.

This time around, he said his family and the example of legendary Canadian para-athlete Terry Fox gave him all the inspiration he needed to pull through.

“He picked a target that he knew isn’t going to be broken for a long time; that was his goal,” said Ledene. “I am so happy for him, and I am so proud of him.”

Call for Comments

  • Were you following Dave Proctor’s run across Canada?
  • Did you come out to see him at any point along the way? Let us know!
Sam Anderson
Sam Anderson writes any articles he can talk his way into, amid a life of traveling the United States and Mexico in search of adventure and margaritas. Follow him on Instagram.