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Running the Icelandic Ring Road

A 1,400 km epic run in some of the wildest and most outlandish landscapes on the planet to raise awareness and fund to help fight multiple sclerosis.

Iceland? Seriously?

You are probably wondering why I chose Iceland for my next humanitarian run instead of Canada. Yes, I know Canada is beautiful, wild and all, but this time, this project will be extra special.

On my last mission, One Run For One Life 2022, I ran from Montréal to Quebec City to help Malik, a five-year-old boy with a severe type of leukemia, and his family. On that run, a very close friend accompanied me and crewed for me. Her name was Sophie. Through thick and thin, she was a real champ. Never once did she complain, argue, comment, criticize or judge how I trained and performed the run. Although I knew that she wanted me to quit at times, she never suggested it to me. She assisted me like a real pro. I wish I had met her many years back. I knew she did not quite understand why I endured so much suffering to help others, although I always understood why she invested so much of herself into helping her patients as a specialized nurse practitioner (SNP). Many times during the run, I glanced at her face when she thought I did not see her, and the look on her face displayed how horrified she was about what I was enduring.

“Accomplishing the seemingly impossible requires unleashing an army of angels.”

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At the finish line, some 270 km later, we hugged, and she whispered in my ear, “now I understand why you do this.” The next day, in the car on our way back to Montréal, she asked me if I wanted to do this again with her. I looked at her, puzzled. She told me that although she knew I was hurting badly during the run, my dedication inspired her, and seeing me happy regardless of the pain made her realize that I would no longer be the same person if I did not engage in these types of missions. I answered that I would love to have her crew for me again. And together, we agreed that our next project would have to take place in an epic setting, preferably in another country. I suggested Iceland, and she said yes almost immediately. To Iceland, we would go. I was ecstatic because I had finally found someone who understood who I truly was and did not judge what I did. Sophie understood me in so many areas of life and was always my lighthouse, guiding me when I felt lost. Unfortunately, we will never go to Iceland together. On November 18, 2022, Sophie passed in her sleep for no apparent reason.

Sophie was in my life for only three years but was a real inspiration for me. And although she had multiple sclerosis, she never showed weakness in public and worked very hard, too hard, as a SNP. I saw firsthand her suffering from her condition in private, and I felt helpless because I could do nothing to help her. Although multiple sclerosis was not Sophie’s cause of death, I decided I would still go to Iceland and run to raise awareness and funds to fight MS in her honour. I would carry a sample of her ashes around my neck for the entire run and bury it at the finish line. So, in a way, we would have still run the Icelandic Ring Road together.

I watched a short video filmed by Drew Simms (watch it on the mission’s page) on his trek through Iceland, and I was enchanted. The landscapes were fantastic, the volcanoes majestic, the glaciers stunning. Everything about Iceland seemed beautiful, and I wanted to run there with Sophie. So, if I can raise the $ 10K required for the expedition, I will toe the line in Iceland on June 3, 2023.

Stay tuned!

A Few Words About Me

About Me

My name is Patrick Michel.

I love running. Whether I run 10 km or thousands, my passion for long-distance running is a constant. Since 2007, that passion has never faded. In fact, it grows stronger year after year. Endurance running has given me so much throughout the years and has provided me with invaluable tools that help me in my work and my personal life.

Running has also provided me with a way to help other by engaging in unusual running events that captivate the general public and help me raise awareness and funds for people who need support.

I have been a marketing strategist for over 20 years in various Montreal agencies and a sports photographer, on the side, for almost ten. For the last seven years, I have been combining all my professional, recreational and sporting skills to step up and help those in need.

What have I done lately?
2019

One Run for One Life 2019 : two marathons a day for sixty consecutive days. This event was held to support Derek Johnston, a kidney cancer patient who was in desperate need of extra funds to continue to receive an experimental treatment in San Diego (CA).

2020-2021

COVID-19 put the breaks on my charity events for two years. But I still managed to run upward of 4,000 km each year to maintain my fitness level.

2022

One Run for One Life 2022: My latest event took place en of August 2022 when I ran from Montreal to Quebec City to support the cause of 5-year-old Malik Fontaine, who suffers from a severe form of leukemia.

 

And I have more epic runs coming up soon.

“Iceland”

by Drew Simms

Follow me live

(Available only during the event which starts on June 3, 2023 at 9:00 am EST)

You can track my progress in real-time, and see where I am at all times during the 1,400 km run around the magnificent island of Iceland.

When I am running, the refresh rate of my GPS communicator is set to about 2 minutes, in other words, the map is refreshed to pinpoint my current position every two minutes or so.

Tracking technology provided by Follow My Challenge and Garmin.

More about the Icelandic Ring Road

The Icelandic Ring Road, also known as Route 1 or Þjóðvegur 1 in Icelandic, is a national road encircling the entire island of Iceland. It covers a distance of approximately 1,332 kilometres (828 miles) and connects many of the country’s most famous tourist destinations.

The Ring Road was completed in 1974 and designed to make travel around the island more accessible, particularly for those who wanted to see the country’s natural attractions, such as glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, and geothermal areas. The road is mostly paved and generally open year-round, although it can be closed during winter months because of harsh weather conditions.

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