Tim Barry, the madman ultra marathoner who spent the weekend running the 150-kilometre Fundy Trek — celebrated at the finish line with a Coors Light and a family-sized bag of BBQ chips.
"Unfortunately, my dad has horrible taste in beer," joked Barry, a 35-year-old father of three from Norton. "But everything tasted good at that point."
He's the first known person to run the trek, roughly equivalent to 3.5 back-to-back marathons through Fundy Parkway, Fundy Footpath and part of Fundy Park, followed by the entire Dobson Trail.
"It's there," Barry said. "It's an amazing thing that we have in this province. It's just a matter of pulling it off."
Sure. No big deal.
Unexpected swim, 'loopy' from lack of sleep
Over single-file trails, through rivers and up steep and rocky coastal terrain, "there were a couple of little hiccups along the way," Barry said.
His headlamp burned out in foggy, dark conditions on the first leg of the trail and had to be replaced. In Goose River, he misjudged the depth of the water as he ran across a beach, trekking poles in hand, and ended up in water over his head.
"I thought I would just skip across, but I had to go for a little swim there," he said. "That was interesting, having poles in your hand while you're trying to swim."
Barry was joined on different parts of the trek by nine other runners, who kept his motivation and spirits up.
At one point, "we were singing 'No Sleep Till Riverview," Barry said, a reference to the 1987 Beastie Boys hit "No Sleep Till Brooklyn."
Fellow runner Tim McDonough, who met Barry on the trail near Goose River, said Barry was "maybe a little loopy" but in "fantastic spirits, laughing the whole time."
"He had a big smile on his face," said McDonough. "We talked the whole time and he was telling me stories and laughing.
"He definitely has the will — the drive. I think a lot of it is a mental aptitude for carrying on."
Barry said he made it through without any serious injuries, except for some inflammation and swelling in one ankle.
Extra 38 kilometres
Barry first tried running the trek three years ago and managed 140 kilometres in 34 hours and 49 minutes, running continuously except for a 45-minute nap.
He nixed the nap this time.
"This time I did 34 hours and 1 minute," he said. "Last time, it was 34.49: I shaved 48 minutes off and added 10 kilometres, so it was still a successful adventure for sure."
Somehow, he said, his GPS watch — a top-of-the-line Suunto Ambit3 — picked up some extra kilometres along the way, recording the distance as 188.7 kilometres instead of the 150 kilometres the trail purportedly measures.
"The GPS pings can be off a couple of metres here, a couple of metres there," he said. "But I don't know really why the big change. I think it was a technical issue."
He's contacted the watch company to see if there's some mistake, or if he actually accidentally ran almost a standard marathon-length longer than he intended. Even if it was just a glitch, he said he's happy.
"It was fantastic," he said. "All in all it worked out beautifully. The most beautiful part was the sunrise both days — but the whole footpath is just amazing."
As for what's next, he said — perhaps he'll do some running in the Chic-Choc Mountains up in Quebec.
As for "right now," he said. "I'm gonna take 'er easy for a little bit."