RELAY FOR LIFE: Al Marleau sets ambitious target

Al Marleau is well known in the community as a distance runner who has tackled more than a few marathons over the years.

Al Marleau is well known in the community as a distance runner who has tackled more than a few marathons over the years.

And just about everyone at one time or another has seen him pounding the pavement around town rain or shine.

But for this year’s Relay for Life, he is going to take it to a whole new level.

He and the other 15 members of the Runners for LIFE team are going to circle the track at Mount Elizabeth Secondary for 24 hours, twice the time of the Relay.

And he intends to be in motion for the entire time.

“Personally I am going to attempt to run 200 kilometres in the 24 hours,” he said, adding the other teams members will be scheduled to run with him “to give me the psychological and physical support I need.”

To put that in perspective, 200kms is slightly more than the distance of five marathons.

Marleau said he wouldn’t be running the entire time, instead alternating between running and walking at intervals designed to give him the best chance to achieve what is an extraordinary goal.

Between corporate and individual pledges, the target for Runners for LIFE is to raise at least $10,000 and hopefully as much as $25,000.

“We hope to inspire others across the nation to try this in future Relays in order to benefit  the Canadian Cancer Society to help fight this dreadful disease,” Marleau added.

As for right now, his team is challenging runners in Terrace, Prince Rupert and Smithers to take the 24-hour plunge as well.

This year the Relay takes place on Saturday, May 5 beginning at 10 a.m.

To co-ordinate their finish with that of the Relay, Al and the Runners will hit the track at 10 p.m. Friday.