Happy birthday! Now run 57 km!

Peggy Pike joined local “Iceman” John Mark Earle for a dip in the frozen Peace River after her 57-km run.

Susan Thompson
South Peace News

While most people spend their birthday enjoying cake and presents, a Peace River woman spent her birthday running 57 km.

Peggy Pike is no stranger to long runs, especially for charity. She has organized the Terry Fox Run in Peace River every year since 2014, and along with her husband Shawn Breen, has also done the Run for the Cure for Breast Cancer.

“I run to stay fit, ease stress, do things with Shawn and my daughter and other people, and just for fun,” Pike says.

Pike and her husband have participated in many local runs like the Chilly Willy 20-km run in Grande Prairie on Feb. 1, and runs in Falher, Watino, Peace River, Whitecourt, Hinton and Jasper. The pair have also run marathons in the Humboldt Giant Redwood Forest in California and even as far away as in Reykjavik, Iceland.

“Every run is different and offers some different type of challenge and are always fun,” Pike says.

Most runs support a charity with a portion of entry fees.

“We also ran in Texas and Massachusetts with Adventureman and supported his Superhero Foundation charity,” Pike says.

“Adventureman” is Jamie McDonald, a motivational speaker, author, and fundraiser who endured a rare spinal condition as a child and now sets world endurance records.

Pike says the longest run she had ever completed before her birthday was 42 km. She was challenged by her husband to try for 57 km, or 330 laps of track at the new Baytex Arena in Peace River, after he completed 55 km for his own 55th birthday Jan. 19.

“I figured if I took my time, took plenty of breaks and kept nourished and hydrated I could do it,” Pike says.

Pike began running at 7:15 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, her 57th birthday. She didn’t finish until 3:21 p.m.

“I actually felt very good afterwards. I felt very invigorated for sure and satisfied.”

Pike even joined local “Iceman” John Mark Earle for a dip in the frozen Peace River after her run.

“Ice baths are supposed to be good for healing sore muscles,” Pike says. “But they don’t have to be that cold, I learned!”

Pike’s husband is donating $330 to the Superhero Foundation for her run; one loonie for every lap she completed. The foundation supports sick children who are in need of treatment their families can’t afford.

As for what’s next, Pike says, “I think for my birthday next year I’m going to try hula hooping for 58 minutes straight! We are still thinking about it though.”

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