Friends and family join eleven-year-old Tyler Heggie, centre, during his run across Prince Edward Island for multiple sclerosis.
Tyler Heggie wasn’t available for an interview after running 273 kilometres in seven days because he was being a kid again, namely watching a movie.
“He’s at the theatre watching The Smurfs,” said Tyler’s father Andrew on Thursday when contacted by The Guardian.
For the past week, Tyler has been an 11-year-old fund- and awareness-raising machine for multiple sclerosis as he ran tip-to-tip across the Island along the Confederation Trail.
He started last Thursday in Tignish, running roughly a marathon a day, and finished Wednesday in his hometown of Brackley around 6:30 p.m., where a good crowd awaited his arrival including Robert Vessey, the local MLA.
“About 50 people followed him onthe trail and almost 100 met him at the park,” said Andrew, who was Tyler’s support staff for the week. “Everything went extremely well. Better than anything I anticipated. At the end he was full of energy and ready to start again. (He came through with) not a blister or a chafe.”
Tyler’s mother, Rhoda, was diagnosed with MS over two years ago. Tyler wanted to do the run last year, but his parents thought it wasn’t a good idea. This year they agreed and set him on a training schedule.
Certainly, Tyler is no stranger to distance running. He was the youngest entrant (nine years-old) in the P.E.I. Marathon two years ago where he finished the full marathon in four hours, 37 minutes and 18 seconds, and placed a respectable 182nd.
So far, Tyer’s raised about $5,000, said Andrew, and more is on the way through pledges.
But Andrew said his son wasn’t concerned about the amounts as much as opening the public’s eyes to the disease.
“It’s not about the money side of it. He was running for the awareness. If he made $100 he would have been happy,” said Andrew.
Donations are still being accepted at Tyler_Heggie on Twitter, where there is a link to his website.