North Cowichan Honours Al Howie

(May 30, 2017 North Cowichan) A newly created municipal trail has been named after one of the most colourful and extraordinary runners in Canadian history. Located in the Keystone development the trail that stretches from the Cowichan Valley Trail to Highland Avenue will now be named "Al Howie Trail.

"Al was an extraordinary athlete that challenged human endurance and willpower to the limit," noted North Cowichans Mayor, Jon Lefebure. "He was also a man that used his talents to raise the awareness and donations for various community causes."  

Al Howie was one of the most recognizable Vancouver Island athletes from the 1970s to the 1990s. An ultra-marathon runner, Al became known as the 'Trans Canada Crossing God for his phenomenal long distance running feats during his athletic career.  Born in Scotland in 1945, Al moved to Victoria in 1978 and took up running as a hobby. A year later, in typical Howie fashion, Al ran from Victoria to Prince George to participate in the Prince George marathon. This race brought together Al, Rick Hansen and Terry Fox.

Inspired by Terry Fox, Al began to train for longer runs and in 1980, he ran from Edmonton to Victoria to attend the Royal Marathon. Als running career continued over the next two decades, where he won more than fifty marathons, ultra marathons and multi-day races. His longest and most famous run came in 1991 when he ran the length of the Trans- Canada Highway, from the Mile Zero sign in St. John's, Nfld, to Mile Zero in Victoria, BC, completing the equivalent of 2.4 marathons a day for 72 straight days.

Al moved to North Cowichan in 2005 and in 2007, the City of Duncan awarded him the Perpetual Trophy for Excellence and Sportsmanship. He was also inducted into the Victoria Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.


For more information, please contact:

Jon Lefebure, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan

Ernie Mansueti, Director of Parks & Recreation
Municipality of North Cowichan