Dan Beals works on lap seven of his 100 Mile charity walk to raise funds for the Shuswap Hospital Foundation. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Virus prompts Salmon Arm teacher to take 100 mile walk for hospital

Daniel Beals treks back and forth along foreshore for Shuswap Hospital Foundation

Seven laps, seven blisters – with another 16 laps to go.

This was where Daniel Beals was at around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12, as he trekked from the west end of Salmon Arm’s foreshore trail towards Raven on his 100 Mile Charity Walk, to raise funds for the Shuswap Hospital Foundation.

“If I can suffer a little bit, maybe I can ease the suffering of others…” said Beals.

A teacher at Salmon Arm Secondary’s Jackson campus, Beals began his walk at 3:30 a.m. at the west end of the boardwalk adjacent to the Prestige Harbourfront Resort. He expected to finish his walk where he began, with each lap totalling around 4.25 miles (6.8 kilometres).

Money donated will go to the hospital foundation, to help cover the expense of three laryngoscopes that were recently purchased for $6,000 apiece for Shuswap Lake General Hospital. The scopes will be used to view the larynx during intubation.

“They will really help treat the coronavirus here in the Shuswap…,” said Beals. “I thought I would do my part and help them pay for it by doing something quite stupid and physically torturous to myself, and hopefully that makes people want throw money at me.”

Beals was prompted to do the walk by his uncle in England, who did the 100-mile walk on the 12th for a hospital there. Beals said he’d joined his uncle in the past on a similar fundraiser, walking the Viking Way, the approximate route the vikings took through England.

“It’s about 150 miles, we tried to do it in three days, did 50 miles a day, walked about 18 hours each day and we raised about 1,400 pounds I believe for a school in their area,” said Beals.

Read more: Column: In search of the Shuswap’s most significant trees

Read more: More North-Okanagan Shuswap students may be back in class by end of May

At times fellow teachers joined Beals on his walk, at other times passersby wished him well on his trek. The only off-putting moment came early in the morning, when he had a surprise encounter with a gaggle of geese.

“It was a place you wouldn’t expect a goose to be… about five of them just flocked all around me, ambushed me really…,” laughed Beals. “After that, for about an hour I was just super twitchy because it was still dark.”

To learn more about how Beals’ walk went, visit his blog at shuswap100milewalk.wordpress.com/blog-2/, and to donate, visit the Shuswap Hospital Foundation website.

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