Parksville runner Michael Pedersen has been named a Legend of the Boardwalk.
It’s not an unofficial title but Pedersen is having fun with the designation, which came from Strava, an app for runners, cyclist and other forms of athletics. There are many runners in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area who use the app.
Pedersen, an Oceanside Running Club Association member, said the app tracks all activities and time of all the users and it will inform them if they’ve hit a local milestone.
“If you run the Island Highway from top to the bottom in Parksville 10 times you are the reigning champion at the moment for that stretch of highway,” Pedersen explained. “I always run down to the waterfront as part of my runs and for no reason other than it’s pretty. I got a pop-up the other day that said you have completed 20 times (the boardwalk) in the last 90 days and you are the reigning champion. I started telling the club there’s a new champion as a joke. I felt this could be a challenge.”
Pedersen wrested the crown from fellow ORCA member Alvis Malphie, who previously held the record of running the boardwalk 19 times in 90 days. He and Malphie decided to challenge members as a fun thing if anyone can do better.
“It’s actually just a short stretch around 420 metres,” Pedersen said. “It’s a beautiful stretch. So many of us run it and Strava keeps track of it. So let’s see in the next 90 days who can run that stretch. The nice thing about it is you don’t have to be the fastest. You can incorporate that section in your 20-kilometre run or in your three-kilometre run. So we just decided to put a challenge out there and make it fun.”
The good-natured ribbing has begun in ORCA’s facebook page. Malphie jokingly told Pedersen, “it’s on like Donkey Kong, Mr. Legend.”
Another member, Jess Brewer, also responded citing it shouldn’t be that difficult to surpass Pedersen’s record.
“How hard can it be?” he asked. “I ran 50 x 100 metres for last year’s ScotiaBank 5K and averaged under 18 seconds each. 90 days is almost 13 weeks, if I come once a week and run each time, that’s 26.”
Pedersen said “bring it on.”
He noted it’s a fun challenge because people don’t have to be hardcore athletes or runners to participate.
“They can walk the stretch for 90 days, which a lot of people already do at the boardwalk,” said Pedersen. “You can do it over and over again if you want to. You just have to get the app so that you can verify.”