March Madness Challenge- “Ski a Day for MitoCanada” Posted March 4, 2012 by Kyle McLaughlin


On March 24th many of the Team Mito members will be skiing at the Canmore Skifest. The race organizers of this 12 and 24 hour Nordic skiing event in Canmore have graciously agreed to give all proceeds to MitoCanada.

Canmore Skifest Video




So to honour their commitment to us and to support our Team competing at this event, I wanted to extend the March Challenge to the rest of the Team and see who can “Ski a Day for MitoCanada”.

What you need to do: Log your Nordic Skiing hours on this post to see how many of us can reach the 12 or 24 hour mark by the end of the month.




If you would like to further support Team Mito at this event- come out to the Canmore Ski Fest and ski as a solo or team OR sponsor Team Mito member Richard MacDonald as he skis his first 24 hour event (See below)

Happy skiing!
On March 24 I’ll be attempting to x-country ski for 24hrs straight to raise money for the MitoCanada foundation and I’m looking for your support!  
If you are interested in donating, please read on…

How does this work?
It’s pretty simple really.  I start at 11:00am and on Saturday and try to ski as many kilometers as I can in 24 hrs (solo).  
My goals are:
             1. to raise cash and awareness for this great charity (I’m hoping to raise at least $1000 or about $5/km).   
            2. Ski somewhere around 200 km in 24hrs; then
            3. crawl into the ambulance for an I.V. and a nice, long nap.  

Why would I do this?
Rather than selling hot dogs at Canadian tire (which is perfectly fine I might add), Team MitoCanada feels we should really work for your hard-earned charity cash, and maybe even suffer a little (…and I’m sure I  will go through various stages of suffering on this one!)  

Have I done this before?
Nope.   Actually I’ve just learned to xc ski in the last year and have never skied more than about 20km at once.  I’m hoping my lack of experience and training will get some sympathy points from potential donors like you! (if nothing else, it’s definitely going to increase the suffering factor anyway!) .  

What’s the charity?
MitoCanada is an amazing charity founded by our friend’s Blaine and Sarah Penny, who’s child Evan suffers from Mitocondrial disease.  The mandate of MitoCanada is to raise awareness, fund research and ultimately find a cure for Mitocondrial disease to help kids like Evan.   The Team Mito mantra is “running for those who can’t” and members have raised thousands of dollars through various endurance sporting events such as this one.    The founder of MitoCanada, and fellow endurance sports junkie, Blaine Penny, will also be participating in the 24 hr race (and lapping me many times!).  To learn more about their story, please go to  .  All proceeds raised go directly to MitoCanada (…and maybe my hospital bill).

What can you do?  

You can donate a lump sum by going on the following website right now at …  The website will automatically send a tax receipt to you.  


If you want to inflict additional suffering on me,  you can also pledge an amount per kilometer!  This will force me to work harder knowing that each kilometer matters.  If you like this option, just email me how much you would like to donate per km and I will collect after the race (as mentioned above, I estimate about 200km for budgeting purposes).    

If anyone is interested in volunteering, participating  or learning more about the event, please go to  Note that there is also a 12hr option, as well as a team relay 12/24hr option for anyone who might be interested in participating.    

Thanks for your help!



  • Blaine Penny March 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    This is awesome Kyle. I love the monthly challenge.

    Rich is stepping outside his comfort zone to ski for this great cause. It’s always good to have an excuse to suffer! Rich did ski 50 km yesterday (2.5 times further than he has ever skied) and did this in 3 hours! (Quick math says he can do 400 km!!). Sorry Rich, just had to put that out there! Looking forward to skiing a day with you.


  • Bryon Howard March 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Hey Rich … AWESOME. Very inspiring to challenge yourself – and at the same time promote the mito cause – and then inspire others.


  • Ken MacDonald March 24, 2012 at 5:07 am

    Rich,you have to quit hanging around with Blaine. Don’t you have any friends that just watch golf on the weekend?
    Here is my no pain no gain donation: First 50km – 50 cents per km (I can ski that far), 50-100 km 75cents per km (your mon can ski that far), 100-200 km $1.00 per km, (your brother can ski that far) 200-300 km $1.25 per km (Blaine can ski that far), plus $5.00 per blister ($10.00 if they are bleeding)


  • Adam Kahtava April 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Well… I put in 18hrs of XC Skiing this past month. A drop in the bucket compared to Rich, Blaine, Kirk, Brendan and Marg’s effort at the Canmore Skifest. 🙂 Again, nice work, very inspiring.


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