© Guardian photo
Tyler Heggie of Brackley tightens his running shoes before a training session. The 11-year-old is running the Island tip-to-tip along the Confederation Trail beginning Thursday to raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis.
BRACKLEY — Prince Edward Island might not be huge, but it’s not easy to run tip-to-tip. Tyler Heggie is doing it anyway.
And the 11-year-old has a good motive.
“Well, the most important reason is to raise money and awareness for MS,” said Heggie in a recent interview from the Heggie home in Brackley.
Tyler’s mother, Rhoda, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis over two years ago and she’s gratified her son has the gumption to try a run — basically a marathon a day — for seven days along the Confederation Trail. The distance is roughly 273 kilometres total.
Tyler starts Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Confederation Trail trailhead in Tignish. He will run the first half to Brackley over the next few days. After that, he starts at the train station in Elmira and runs the other half, finishing in Brackley again.
“It’s pretty awesome that… he wants to do this. He’s got a good heart. I’m proud of him,” said Rhoda.
Heggie has some experience in distance running. He was the youngest entrant (nine years old) in the P.E.I. Marathon two years ago.
Tyler ran the full marathon in four hours, 37 minutes and 18 seconds, and placed a respectable 182nd. Since then, the marathon organizers have changed the rules regulating at what age a runner could participate. Runners now have to be at least 16 years old to enter the Island full marathon, and that with parental consent.
But this run is for other things than glory and a low time.
His father, Andrew, will run and bike alongside and the pair will either bunk in hotels along the way or bring the family’s camping trailer and stay in nearby campgrounds.
As for Tyler, he said he’s not overly worried about the daily runs. And while he admits to be concerned about twisting an ankle, he’s not letting that slow him down.
“I highly doubt that will happen,” said the Grade 6 student.
To donate to Tyler's run, bring your donation to M&M Furniture, St. Peter's Road.