A Boy Scout’s Motto

By Rob McWilliam and Larry Duguay

Recently my running partner and I went for a run up the Grey Mountain Road. It was a beautiful day for a winter run. Clear skies, no wind, crisp temperature. The type of winter run that is to be treasured. So soon we were on the Cantile Lake trail running further and further. It was a great run, but after a couple of hours my enjoyment was shaded with some embarrassment. I’d been preaching ‘be prepared’ in earlier trail running columns. Yet here I was being lured by the beautiful conditions over on to the wild side. Certainly we had water and power gel, but we were far off our planned route with no survival gear. Not even a book of matches. My only consolation was that in our two and a half hour run we didn’t pass anybody, so there were no other witnesses to my ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach.

It is runs like this when things can go really wrong, and the consequences can quickly become serious. This lesson was recently pounded home when one of Whitehorse’s foremost runners had a life threatening experience on what was a routine lunch time run.

Hearing of Dan’s experience, and having gotten away with my own bout of impulsive running, I promoting added a book of matches and a Mylar blanket (one that I recycled from an earlier marathon) to my fanny pack for winter running. They weigh very little and provide considerable peace of mind. I also resolved to be more precise about leaving information on alternative running routes before I leave home.