Kamloops This Week
As Edward (Fast Eddy) Dostaler ran through Quebec City, across the St. Lawrence River and within 250 kilometres of New Brunswick, the finances of the back half of his “There and Back” cross-Canada journey were increasingly dire.
The fact is, Dostaler is no longer 100 per cent certain he’ll be running back to B.C.’s Pacific coast.
“I would say 90 [per cent],” Dostaler told KTW from just outside Quebec City.
“As far as I know — and what I would like to do — is still run there and back and I see it happening no matter what, because I gave people my word and that’s important to me, keeping your word.”
Committed or not, Dostaler said he is running out of money.
When he embarked on his 21,585-kilometre journey at the beginning of March, Dostaler was already behind the 8-ball — his estimates were he needed $30,000 to finance the run, but he was only able to raise $18,000.
Of that money, $2,200 went to a company to design and host his website, fasteddycanada.com.
His cellphone bills have been eating up roughly $170 a month, covering the long-distance calls to media outlets and uploading pictures and videos to the Internet for his followers. Another $9,000 went to the 29 pairs of runners he needed for the trek, the cost of his running stroller, camping gear and food.
Dostaler figured he left Kamloops with about $7,000 to cover meals, the occasional hotel stay and any other expenses along the way.
“We all knew I went into this with less money than was needed, but I went in because I knew I gave people my word,” Dostaler said.
“As long as I have some finances in my bank account, I’m going for it, no doubt about it.”
Dostaler’s biggest expense since the run began has come in the way of lodging — he didn’t anticipate not being allowed to camp within cities and, as a result, has had to book a few more hotel stays than he planned for when he left for the other side of the country.
Still, the 26-year-old said he doesn’t have any regrets with how he has spent his money — he said he has done the best he could under the circumstances.
As for not being able to complete the back half of the run, Dostaler said it would be “devastating, heart-breaking, heart-wrenching,” should he have to call it quits after he lands in St. John’s, N.L., later this year.
“I put so much time and effort into this — this has been two years of my life,” Dostaler said.
“Honestly, I know a lot of people would say it wouldn’t be, but that’s failure. You didn’t complete it. Congratulations, you did 70 per cent. You ran there and almost back. I’m not an almost kind of guy.”
Dostaler hopes to be in New Brunswick by the first of September, after which he will head to Moncton, Charlottetown, PEI, and Halifax, N.S., before wrapping up the first half of his run in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Also falling short thus far are the donations collected for his causes. Dostaler said he has raised between $8,000 and $9,000 in support of Alzheimer’s Disease and breast cancer research, but left Kamloops with the goal of raising $250,000.
Dostaler he expects the fundraising to pick up should he do the back half of his journey — people will be more likely to get behind the cause when they see him running in –40 C.
But, is the There and Back journey a success if it costs more than it raises?
“At first, before I did this, I thought absolutely not,” Dostaler said. He has a different perspective, though, nearing the halfway point.
“It’s not necessarily about fundraising in general, but the change in which you’re willing to put into it and what can come out of it. Maybe its not a financial goal, but seeing people be better people, seeing people act on random acts of kindness and doing nice things, that, in general, is a success.”