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May 27, 2024
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Silver Fern’s son’s 8000km running odyssey across Canada

Ultra runner Jonathan Nabbs, the son of the late Silver Fern Margaret Forsyth, has been running across Canada since May last year – the fourth person and first Kiwi to do it unsupported.

Nabbs, 32, lost both Margaret and father Brian to cancer in the space of 16 months and is undertaking his mammoth 8000km challenge from St John’s on Canada’s east coast to Vancouver on the west to raise money for child cancer research.

He told 1News that his netballing mother introduced Nabbs and his two brothers to running.

“I’m so glad she did introduce me to that because it’s part of who I am now and it’s brought so much to my life.”

Nabbs ran the length of New Zealand on the Te Arawa trail in 2022 as part of his grieving process and now he’s tackling the second largest country in the world.

Dressed in a Superman suit and pushing a buggy named Shania, Nabbs is attracting the attention of local media and those on social media, some of whom are joining him for short stretches.

But he’s still facing the dangers of the trans-Canada highway alone.

There’s traffic, the weather and the wildlife to contend with.

There’s also the damage to his body of running every day – he has suffered from seven cases of tendonitis – plus the mental toll.

“Mentally I was real surprised by how well everything was going… then I hit the prairies which is just one of the largest flat land geographies on the planet,” he said.

“I was into this featureless expanse for like 1100km, staring down the barrel of that… so yeah, that was a big challenge mentally, that’s probably been the biggest challenge of the entire thing.”


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