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    Mike Rilstone | The 70 on 70 Marathon | April 21, 2020

    During my 69th year, I conjured this crazy idea to walk 70 kilometres on my 70th birthday on April 21, 2020. It would be an example to all my peers, (and even many younger), to do one simple thing every day. Please drop the remote and start walking!

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    The 70 on 70 Marathon – April 21, 2020

     

    Thanks to my wife Marilyn several years ago, when I was in such a deep depression after losing my eyesight, (then subsequently only regaining some compromised vision), my life turned around.

     

    I was desperate and in a deep depression. My weight had skyrocketed to 270 pounds.
    Thankfully, she got us into dog rescuing. Dogs are therapeutic and lifted me mentally. We have fostered about 60 dogs in just 6 years. There was no time to worry about myself and a huge cloud lifted.

     

    But then a miracle of sorts happened: the dogs repaired me physically too! Having to walk so many dogs, the pounds slowly came off. Over six years, I dropped slowly but surely, ounce by ounce, from 270 to 194. My waistline dropped like a rock, from 44 to 36 inches.
    In fact, it is the lightest I had been since 1968.

     

    My resting heart rate dropped to the mid 50’s and my blood pressure has been absolutely perfect, (according to those Shoppers’ Drug Mart machines).

     

    mike-rilstone-70-on-70
    Mike Ristone working out for the 70 on 70 marathon.

    Then during my 69th year, tragedy struck. I was sent the obituaries of several friends from my high school years more than half a century ago. Most of them seem to have passed from obesity related causes. That was the very dead end road I had been on just 6 years before.

    Yet here I was now, walking 10, 20, and even 30 kilometres a day to meet the walking needs of our rescued dog Pack.
    The kilometres have added up into the many thousands. For example, for the one year ended March 31, 2020, (the anniversary of when I started logging my dog walks), I had walked 5,104 kilometres.

     

    During my 69th year, I conjured this crazy idea to walk 70 kilometres on my 70th birthday on April 21, 2020. It would be an example to all my peers, (and even many younger), to do one simple thing every day. Please drop the remote and start walking!

     

    There was one drawback to this planned marathon. Doing so many kilometres with compromised eyesight, especially as I tired in combination with day becoming night), could be a disaster in itself.

     

    Then one day I saw that the equivalent of one kilometre walking equals 7 minutes on an exercise bike! That was the perfect solution!

     

    Never wavering from my ambition for my 70th birthday, I calibrated 70 on 70 as my 2020 New Year’s Resolution, roughing out the approximate times broken down by the hour through the day.

     

    During the period from January to April, 2020 I have been working out on my trusty $20 Kijiji exercise bike using a training schedule crafted from what a marathon runner would follow to run 42 kilometres in a road race. These included long training distance days, building endurance days, and quiet days of recovery to let the muscles rebuild.

     

    Now I am ready!

     

    So on April 21st, please lift your coffee cups towards Niagara, Ontario and wish me the best on my 70 on 70 endeavour. To complete the equivalent on my stationary bike, as explained, I will be riding for 490 minutes, or 8.1 hours. That’s a lot of cycling for a brand new 70-year-old!

     

    Thank you.

     

    Hugs to all,

     

    Mike

     

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