Sherbrooke resident shakes off leg injury to complete Everest challenge

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Fernand Courchesne accomplished his goal to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest by ascending and descending Mont-Orford National Park 19 times between Saturday and Sunday.
The 52-year-old gave himself the challenge more than a year ago in an effort to push his limits and raise awareness for Sherbrooke Shared Runs, a group that connects runners with people who have lost the use of their legs.
Courchesne completed the challenge in just over 22 hours, despite suffering a leg injury early on. The muscle in his right leg started to spasm during his third descent of Mont-Orford, he explained, and it made him seriously consider retiring from the event.
From that point on, Courchesne needed to hike down the mountain rather than run, as he had originally intended. While it delayed the event by a few hours, the goal was never to complete the challenge in record time.
“My objective was to climb the mountain 19 times, so pushing it back by a few hours didn’t really change anything,” Courchesne said.
According to the Sherbrooke resident, he has been involved with Shared Runs for a long time. He started a GoFundMe page with a target of $9,000. Although he didn’t reach the fundraising goal, Courchesne managed to generate $4,000 for the running group.
“I won’t reach the $9,000 mark, but I’m convinced I can generate another couple thousand,” said Courchesne, who plans to keep his GoFundMe page active for a few more weeks.
He climbed, walked and ran 105 kilometres in two days and reached the equivalent of 9,280 metres in total. Mount Everest in comparison is 8,848 metres at its highest point. But despite his extensive training routine, Courchesne experienced some hiccups along the way.

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