Day 105 – 47.6 km (total – 2572.5 km)
There are moments where unexpected events lead to great joy and today entailed a couple such moments for me. We started the day early and I got about 18 km in before Sarah picked me up and we drove to Rigaud, which is about 30 west towards Ottawa. Mary-Kate Jackson is an English teacher at a French school called College Bourget and asked us to speak with the grade 10 students there. It is a massive school – about 1600 students. About 300 students packed into the auditorium and I found myself experiencing first hand the language barrier. Mrs. Jackson’s students spoke some English but most students were Francophone, and some of what I was saying was lost in translation.
Sometimes it’s difficult to gauge the impact that these visits have on students. But today after the presentation, a student came up and introduced himself and asked me how much passion it took to fuel my running. He had lost someone close in his family to cancer and wants to run across the country as well. There was determination in his eyes and although brief, it was pretty special to have that interaction with him.
After our visit, Sarah drove me back to where I had left off. Within a few kilometers, I ran over the bridge to leave Montreal! I found Sarah at about 42 k and she had found a great bike trail. This young guy came over to the RV with his dog and it ended up being one of the students from the school we had visited! Matthieu was his name. We were right beside the farm he lived on. He ended up riding his bike beside me for a while and chatting as I ran some more. He was Francophone but spoke better English than I did French. He told me about the area and how I could get to Cornwall. We then said goodbye as he ducked in to visit his grandfather. I continued running and a couple of kilometers later, he appeared beside me again out of breath, with the yellow pages in his hand! He realized he had given me the wrong directions and wanted to catch me to give me the right ones! Matthieu – thank you! It was great meeting you and having your company for a bit as I ran!