In 1991, Howie ran through Canada for 72 days, a record unmatched for nearly three decades. Two weeks after the journey of life, Howie set a world record at the Sri Chinmoy marathon in New York City, running 1,300 miles, or about 2,100 kilometers, in 16 days.
Howie lived secretly in the following years. He had many health problems, including diabetes, but he often ran from Duncan to Victoria to handle personal problems and then run back.
Beasley describes when the two were chatting at Duncan, Howie wasn’t excited about everything except running.
One day, when his colleagues debated how long a horse would run from Toronto to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Ontario, Howie insisted he could do it in a day. His colleagues mocked him, but soon after, he successfully conquered the 125-kilometer challenge.
After moving to a mill at a copper mine in Vancouver Island, BC, 20 kilometers from home, Howie chose to walk to work.
Howie’s actions were quickly noticed by the BC press. While people drive, fly by plane, bus to remote cities, Howie runs, simply because it is cheap. He often slept under the stars.
Al Howie is athletic, because his father is a boxer and his mother is a swimmer. As a child, he was trained from moving with his family to long distances by walking. Photo: Handout.
Al Howie is athletic, because his father is a boxer and his mother is a swimmer. As a child, he was trained from moving with his family to long distances by walking.
In 1978, Howie ran 500 kilometers from Victoria to Port Hardy, the northernmost point of Vancouver Island, to raise funds for charity.
In 1979, Howie ran from Victoria to Prince George to attend the marathon.
In 1980, Howie finished third in the Edmonton marathon before running back to Vancouver Island and finishing the Royal Victoria Marathon in 14th place.