2017 RCR 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge
April 2 2017 // Lululemon on Whyte Ave, Edmonton AB
The Edmonton run community—spearheaded by River City Runners (RCR)—2017 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge raises over $32,679 for the Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters Of Edmonton & Area (BGCBigs) meal program. One dollar raised equals one meal for a child.
This is the third year for the 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge, and my second year involved. This weekend is, however, a special one for me. The dates may not overlap, but this is my one year anniversary with the Edmonton run community. It was only one year ago at last year’s treadmill challenge where I was introduced, and subsequently blown away by this community. Edmonton’s runners.
The resulting past year of me chasing runners through the Edmonton river valley has been a pure honour and pleasure. I can’t thank this group enough for the past year. I am now one of you, an Edmonton runner. I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings!
River City Runners
I want to thank RCR for adopting me into the fold as one of your own. Being able to spend time with this group the past year has created endless possibilities for me. It is so much fun to be a bigger part of this year’s treadmill challenge, and to celebrate our community with everyone.
A lot of hours, and a lot of effort goes into putting an event like this on. This group of people continue to amaze me. Total group effort.
Edmonton Run Community
Here we are one year later, $30K more to help keep the youth in Edmonton active, and it is all because of you. If you are reading this, chances are you had a part in every single photo you see here. All the smiles. All the love. All the sweat. That’s a direct result of your generosity. Go ahead, fire out a fist pump. Do your dance…you deserve it.
Some of you stay all night long. Some are in-and-out all day and night like a shift supervisor making sure everyone has what they need to keep going. Some of you run your hour, leave, come back for Yoga, leave, and show up in the morning for HIIT; fitness is your routine, and you shared your routine with us. The rest of you just come for the food. That’s fair. Bloom Cookies will get me to do pretty much anything. Seriously, bribe me with cookies. I take photos and build the internet…will work for Bloom. A special thank-you to Nadim Chin for the annual cookie supply.
Everyone contributes differently, and that’s what makes a 24 hour treadmill challenge successful. It takes the whole community to make this thing happen. So thank-you for running, posing, HIIT’ing, drawing, spidey’ing, smiling, yoga’ing, not tasing anyone, and yes…eating. We will put 30K+ meals on a table this year for kids that need it because of each and every one of you.
Trent Schneider - Videographer / 24 Hour Stayer Upper
Last year Trent Schneider shot and produced one of the best short videos capturing an event that I have ever seen. I watched him get his shots, edit the footage, find the music, and produce the video before we left that day.
It was incredible.
This year. He did it again.
Through the magical power of the internet, you can pause my little word soup party and dive into a video recap of the 2017 RCR 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge by the talented and handsome gentlemen—Mr. Trent Schneider.
Lululemon Whyte Ave Community Store — 24 Hours
I mentioned earlier that this was my run community anniversary. Last year during the 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge, I was exhausted mentally. Trying to learn people’s names. Figuring out the various run groups, and sub-groups within the larger community. Feeling dazed and confused for the most part of the entire 24 hours.
This year is totally different.
I know everyone for the most part. I’ve taken your photo, you’ve taken mine. We’ve danced, hugged, and sweated together like Rob Ford at a press conference. I know these people. As a result, I find myself nowhere near as mentally tired, and capable of going through the night, really focusing on capturing the life cycle of the Whyte Ave store.
Transitions from day to night and back to day in the space make for some dramatic, and equally dull light. This year I spent time and mental energy on trying to explore the space a little more. To utilize the retail aspect of the store in framing and composition. Shooting the same event in the same space can be tough, so I really had to think about the photos I wanted to capture…and why.
At the heart of everything, for 24 hours, two treadmills chug along with beautiful human beings putting one foot in front of the other. That’s it. But so much more is going on.
Tyler utilizes the recently mopped Lululemon Whyte Ave floor that is unusually bare having just played host to a yoga practice for fifty or more supporters—led by Meg Stevenson. A solemn moment that I assume is one of reflection given the comfortable setup including a pad and pen.
I know these moments well myself.
Carefully crouching down into my familiar squat. I maneuver the lense into position slowly and methodically, but without so much as a hesitation in my movements. I have no idea how long this perfect frame will last. Before someone walks through disturbing the clean composition of a dark and empty store. Before Tyler sees me and recoils. The soft shutter mode of my 5D MKIV doing it’s best to snap frames silently—it fails miserably—but Tyler remains undisturbed. Until 1:07:59 AM.
I can’t say the exact moment, but between 1:07:59 AM and 1:08:14 AM, the Lululemon Whyte Ave community store erupts into a Spice Girls dance party lasting the entire length of the 3:24 1998 Billboard #16 single from the similarly named, and pleasantly reviewed album, Stop.
Little did I know, but one Cathleen Bell has a propensity to dance like nobody’s watching.
Ryan Luider, on the only working treadmill at the time, matches the enthusiasm of Cathleen and her ad-hoc 90’s pop troupe without skipping a beat. You can see the group start to get in a tight groove towards the end.
It is magical. It is the 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge. It is why you don’t want to miss a moment of it. There are too many moments to share them all, but here is my attempt to fully capture the range of emotions that come out of a 24 hour treadmill marathon. A lot of dancing. All the photos. Smiles. High fives. Downright tom-foolery. And everything in-between.
Get on the dance floor
— Erick Sermon
Without music baby...I'll go crazy.
We had a DJ tag team from Anushka Jayasuriya and Bradley James for most of the 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge. Having great DJ’s offer to serve up music for an event like this is luxury. Many times through the night when we had a gap in DJ coverage, I had discussions with folks about how much better it is with someone spinning up the tunes.
A huge thanks to Anushka and Brad for doing their thing with us for multiple shifts each. We know you have busy days coming in, so we are forever grateful for your generosity. The space is better with you there setting the vibe.
The 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge doesn’t happen without sponsors. It’s that simple. We don’t have a location, we don’t have treadmills, and we have no means to raise funds.
Flaman Fitness not only comes through with treadmills for our event, but also donated $5000. We love the support from Flaman Fitness for the third year running again.
Lululemon Edmonton is obviously our other big sponsor providing us a space to sweat for 24 hours. The staff putting up with us on a regular Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The fully operational store hardly skips a beat, even with us loitering throughout the store. Thank-you.
Blitz Conditioning, and Meg Stevenson for leading our yoga practice with all proceeds of both classes going to BGCBigs. Having late night yoga to ease the store into a dimly lit calm space sets the space for the night—minus the odd dance party that sparks up like hot embers of a fire that’s naturally run its course. The HIIT class in the morning snaps the store to life which results in a floor wash, and clothing racks taking up their usual positions. Just like that, our treadmill challenge plays second fiddle to the Whyte Ave. Lululemon customers.
Lastly, we want to raise a glass to our beer sponsor: Ribstone Creek. Once again, overnight cold beer really keeps things fun.
That's a Wrap
As the last of the icy and treacherous conditions clean themselves up on the paths in our river valley, I reflect upon another treadmill challenge. More importantly, the year in-between, consecutive RCR 24 Hour Treadmill Challenges at the Lululemon Community store.
So I got with a sick-ass clique and went all out.
And make no mistake, this is a community. This group of people that come together countless times a year to support others by fundraising with fitness. To cheer each other on at the hundreds of races ran each year. Cook meals together. Road-trip together. Ski. Hike. Bike. And of course, run together 1-2-3-4-5 times a week—or more. Even right from this store every Wednesday night with Run Collective.
I am no longer on assignment. This is no longer my job—and it never was. Spending time with you following you on my bike with my camera, or with a gross icy moustache up Walterdale Hill on Friday isn’t work. It’s just what I do now. This is my life.
I was introduced to you all over a 24 hour period, and that’s all it took. I’m one of you now. Hills and stairs for breakfast, long runs on weekends, fast 5K’s on busy days. I’m getting my miles in, and whether they are by myself or in a traffic jam of wonderful human beings on River Valley Rd, I’m running with my community.