Two Williams Lake RCMP officers are training to participate in a gruelling fundraiser for KidSport.
Cpl. Fraser Bjornson, 33, and Const. Dan Cohen, 40, will be doing what is called a 4x4x48 the weekend of May 28.
Inspired by ex-Navy Seal and ultra marathoner David Goggins from the U.S., the pair will run four miles every four hours until they complete 48 miles or 77 kilometres.
“The distance isn’t ridiculous over two days, but the hard part is going to be getting up at midnight, 4 a.m., noon to keep going like that so your sleep deprivation is kicking in too,” Bjornson said as he and Cohen paused during a workout at the Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake track.
Cohen estimated it will take them 35 to 40 minutes to run four miles, although they will have to see how their muscles do in the middle of the night.
They are working out together once a week and encourage members of their watch to join them.
On Monday, May 17, they were doing the Navy Seals fitness test which involved running 2.4 km, hoping to do so in less than 10 minutes, a minimum of 50 push-ups in two minutes, 50 sit-ups in two minutes and pull-ups using the metal frame of a goal post.
“We’ve been training since March when we decided to do it,” Cohen said.
Bjornson is also training for the Black Spur Ultra 108-km marathon this August in Kimberley and has been averaging running 60 km, sometimes 100 km a week.
When Cohen learned of Bjornson’s plan he wondered if somehow the training could be used to fundraise locally.
“It’s not every day somebody does an ultramarathon so I thought it would be a good platform for a fundraiser,” Cohen said. “He roped me into doing this 4x4x48. I wasn’t even planning to do anything until he got me into it, but it’s good because I get to be more involved.”
Bjornson suggested KidSport and they decided it was a good fit.
They both have young children and value the organization’s mandate to get children active.
“It’s difficult these days, especially with the fees for soccer, hockey, gymnastics, whatever it might be. This gives an opportunity to kids that might not normally get to do that because their parents might not be able to afford it,” Cohen said.
The fact the funds will stay local was also a good incentive, they said.
On Friday, May 21 the duo will be at Save-on-Foods from 2 to 4 p.m. doing a challenge.
For every dollar donated they will do a push-up.
“We’ve got some backup people just in case we exceed the amount of push-ups we can do in that time. We don’t want to say ‘no’ to donations just because we cannot do the push-ups,” Bjornson said, adding they could switch to sit-ups if needed too.
Originally from Flin Flon, Man., Bjornson began his RCMP career in Valleyview, Alta, and worked in Jasper and Hazelton before moving to Williams Lake two years ago.
“I got into the RCMP in 2007, starting when I was 19 years old. Before that I was cutting grass on the Green Team in Cranberry Portage,” he said with a big smile.
Cohen grew up in Whitby, Ont. and has been stationed in Williams Lake since 2012 where he got his first post.
KidSport Williams Lake provides grants to help cover the costs of registration fees for children aged 18 and under in Williams Lake to play a season of sport.