The Pole to Pole Run

in All Posts

Imagine running at least two marathons a day – every day – for almost a year.  No rest days!  Imagine running over 13,000 miles through 14 countries.  Imagine running from the North Pole to the South Pole, all in a quest to raise $100 million for the Red Cross.


You’d develop some pretty rockin’ calves!


Meet Pat Farmer. 


He’s 48 years old, the father of two children, a former member of the Austrialian parliament, and has raised millions of dollars for cancer research during his 20-year running career.  Oh, and he’s currently running from the North to the South Pole.  Yes, seriously.  SERIOUSLY. 


Pat ran through Charlotte today, and several staff members, coaches, and girls from Girls on the Run got together to run with him as he left town.  Even Molly Barker (the GOTR founder and most-awesome-human-being-ever) was there!


There was a lot of media around, too.  Local news stations interviewed a few GOTR girls.  It was a great chance to celebrate Pat, the Red Cross, and spread the word about GOTR, too.  I overheard one of the girls say that GOTR helped her discover how special she is, which made me smile from ear to ear!


Then, Pat ate some lunch.  I asked him what he ate on the road – he burns about 8,500 calories a day running – and he said he tries to eat as much real food as possible, like eggs, bread, and bananas.  He did say that he eats a lot of protein shakes, and Gatorade.


Pat said he’d been up since 2:00 AM and had already ran 50 miles before our meeting! 


I would be slamming down two large pizzas for lunch.  Pat and his crew kept it pretty healthy, though.


We gave Pat a Girls on the Run Energy Award (the Superstar, if anyone is wondering!) for an extra confidence boost…


And then we were off!


Can I just say that it was awe-inspiring to run next to Pat Farmer AND Molly Barker, two internationally-recognized running legends?  


I wanted to stick with them for as long as possible, even though I haven’t been running long distances lately.   They have both accomplished so much in so many different areas… it was truly amazing.   I tried to soak it all in! 


Plus, there was a camera in my face for the documentary and I didn’t want to crap out!  Hah.  Kidding.  Kind of.


The girls and most of the other adults dropped off about three miles in, but Molly, a Red Cross worker, and myself stuck with Pat for a while longer.  I ended up doing more than 5.0 miles, which is the furthest I’ve run since March.   Whoop, whoop!


Running with Pat and Molly really reignited my passion.  Like I mentioned yesterday, it’s easy to get into the mindset of “oh, this is such a chore; I don’t have time; blah blah blah,” but running (or any type of exercise) is a GIFT.  There will come a day that I cannot run.  But you know what?  Today is NOT that day, and I am going to embrace and appreciate my body as much as possible.


And then I drank a peanut butter smoothie the size of my head.  Oh yeah.


To read more about Pat’s journey, check out his website.  To learn more about Girls on the Run, check out How to Get Involved with GOTR.  And if you feel so inclined, please donate to the Red Cross.



  • Cait's Plate June 29, 2011, 3:50 pm

    This looks like it was so much fun!

    I was a GOTR “Running Buddy” this past winter and it was such a blast!

    • Caitlin June 29, 2011, 9:43 pm

      Thank you for volunteering with GOTR!

      • Cait's Plate June 29, 2011, 9:55 pm

        Of course! It’s such an amazing organization!

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) June 29, 2011, 3:52 pm

    WOW. He ran 50 miles before everyone met for lunch??! That’s crazy…& awesome.

  • Rachel June 29, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Yay, everything about this post is so motivating and uplifting!!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin June 29, 2011, 3:57 pm

    Wow so cool Caitlin!! What an awesome experience to run along side both Pat and Molly!!

  • Ali June 29, 2011, 3:57 pm

    That is an amazing experience! He is such a Rock Star! I cannot even imagine doing that. How cool that you got to meet him.

  • lynne @lgsmash June 29, 2011, 3:58 pm

    This. Is. AWESOME! What an inspiring story!

    I love your attitude about running – do it and enjoy it while you can. I’m gearing up for 2 knee surgerys later this summer (no weight for 4-6 week per knee) so I’ve been moving and shaking like a crazy woman trying to 1) get myself in the best shape I can be before I’m reduced to crutches the rest of the year and 2) appreciate and enjoy the movement I CAN do right now without pain.

    Love this post.

    • Caitlin June 29, 2011, 9:46 pm

      🙂 I am so sorry about your surgeries but I love your outlook!

  • Jen June 29, 2011, 3:58 pm

    I love this post. . . but mostly, I love that last pic of you!

  • Carolina @ Peas in a Blog June 29, 2011, 3:59 pm

    Wow, talk about inspiring! This is so great, thanks for sharing his story Caitlin.

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe June 29, 2011, 4:00 pm

    What a cool guy!

  • Lara June 29, 2011, 4:03 pm

    “There will come a day that I cannot run. But you know what? Today is NOT that day, and I am going to embrace and appreciate my body as much as possible.”

    I love this! What a great attitude 🙂

  • Kelly June 29, 2011, 4:04 pm

    Love your face in the superstar photo! 🙂

  • Heather @ Dietitian on the Run June 29, 2011, 4:04 pm

    What a day!! Nothing like two running super-stars to get that motivation back (Honeybadger, you’re donezo)!! 🙂 Thanks for the recap and including us in the experience!

    • Caitlin June 29, 2011, 9:47 pm

      Honey badger 4 life.

  • Lindsey June 29, 2011, 4:05 pm

    That is awesome, I love everything about this post! You are right running is a gift and there will come a day when we can’t run!

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence June 29, 2011, 4:05 pm

    He is such an inspiration!

  • Jessica @ Bake a Little June 29, 2011, 4:07 pm

    I feel empowered. I feel like I cant make excuses anymore 🙂

  • Jamie June 29, 2011, 4:08 pm

    Nice! GOTR was at the last race that I did. I so want to volunteer for something like that but as a single parent, I don’t have the time 🙁 I miss working with kids though!

    • Caitlin June 29, 2011, 9:48 pm

      Thank you for supporting GOTR in the ways that you can!

  • Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life June 29, 2011, 4:09 pm

    When you said ” There will come a day that I cannot run. But you know what? Today is NOT that day, and I am going to embrace and appreciate my body as much as possible.” It really got me thinking and your are so right…. we need to appreciate what we are and who we are now because we might not be so lucky later on in life! 🙂

  • Kelley June 29, 2011, 4:09 pm

    This is so cool! What a great experience! You’re up there with the best of em’!

  • Jenn @ Frost Bites June 29, 2011, 4:10 pm

    I was watching the Nightly News with Brian Williams last night and it reminded me of YOU. They did a segment on GOTR (Making a Difference). I think it was either in Chicago or NY. YOu guys do such great work for the program…Keep it up!

  • Errign June 29, 2011, 4:11 pm

    Totally inspired by you, I’ve contacted the GOTR people here in Asheville and I’m very excited to start working with them this fall 🙂

  • Caitlyn June 29, 2011, 4:12 pm

    Wow! That is truly motivational and inspiring!!

  • Megan @ On the Road Again June 29, 2011, 4:12 pm

    What an amazing dude! Seriously. I only hope to be running when I’m 48. Pat runs, raises money for charity, and is a dad. So inspiring!

  • ~Jessica~ June 29, 2011, 4:14 pm

    What an inspiring story.

    I would give anything to do what Pat does: it would be my dream to run miles every day, raising money for charity. My mind is willing, but my injury-ridden body wouldn’t be up to it!


  • Chelsea June 29, 2011, 4:15 pm

    Wow that’s so awesome! I looked more into him after your post earlier today and he’s amazing. I hope I can run along his side once he gets to Texas!

  • Donna @ Love, Run & Travel June 29, 2011, 4:15 pm

    How incredibly inspiring!!!
    How lucky to be able to meet and run with him!
    Love the head size smoothie 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 29, 2011, 4:17 pm

    Oh my goodness, what a guy!! That is absolutely amazing! I get up at 4:15am to run in the morning – and I thought that was early! What a great opportunity for you and GOTR!

  • Lauren June 29, 2011, 4:17 pm

    so cool! what pace does he run at all day long?

    • Caitlin June 29, 2011, 4:30 pm

      I asked him but he didn’t give me a straight answer. I think it’s from 8 – 11 depending.

  • Kim L. June 29, 2011, 4:18 pm

    The picture of you and your peanut butter smoothie made me laugh out loud!!! I love reading your blog and look forward to your posts every single day. You have really inspired me!

    • Caitlin June 29, 2011, 4:30 pm

      Thank you sweetie!

  • The Teenage Taste June 29, 2011, 4:23 pm

    Wow! Pat and his crew are so inspiring!

  • Kelly @foodiefresh June 29, 2011, 4:25 pm

    Caitlin, that is so awesome. 🙂

  • Leslie June 29, 2011, 4:27 pm

    Very inspiring post! “There will come a day that I cannot run. But you know what? Today is NOT that day” – LOVED that! Thanks, Caitlin!

  • Johanna B June 29, 2011, 4:35 pm

    What a great experience for you and the girls of GOTR. I, too, love the photo of you and the PB smoothie. I could go for one of those about now. The heat index here is over 100 today.

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) June 29, 2011, 4:36 pm

    All I can say is… holy shit! That guy is INSANE. Wow, this totally inspired me to quit whining about marathon training!

  • Anna Crouch June 29, 2011, 4:39 pm

    Wow, I can’t even imagine! That’s insane and amazing all at the same time. It’s so cool that you were able to join them. That’s a HUGE honor! You totally deserved it! And the fact that it was a hugh motivator for you to get back into action–double awesome!

  • Amykinz @ Foodie 4 Healing June 29, 2011, 4:42 pm

    I LOVE this: ‎”Running (or any type of exercise) is a GIFT…I am going to embrace & appreciate my body as much as possible.”

    I haven’t worked out much since I’m pregnant (2.5 weeks to go, whoop-whoop). I was running before I got pregnant & stopped most forms of exercise due to a high-risk pregnancy. I’m not gonna lie… in the past, I haven’t LOVED excerise. Running about the only thing I looked forward to. But now, having exercise of any form not even an option… I can’t believe how much I miss it & am itching to get back to it! My whole perspective has changed! And I agree with you… it is a GIFT!

  • Christine June 29, 2011, 4:44 pm

    Wow, he’s awesome! I have to wonder about the price his body is going to pay, though, for this amount of running (not to be a downer… I do think he’s doing something wonderful). And congrats for getting your mojo back.

    • Caitlin June 29, 2011, 9:49 pm

      I think Ultramarathons definitely suffer long-term health consequences – read any of their memoirs and its super apparent! We reinforced to the girls that they should probably NOT aspire to run two marathons every day.

  • Sara June 29, 2011, 4:44 pm

    That sounds awesome! My water polo coach in high school would always use the “When your 80 you will be wishing you could do this workout” to motivate us! I thought he was silly at the time but I think about that all the time now when I need extra motivation, because it is so true! Amazing how things change.

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat June 29, 2011, 4:53 pm

    Exercise is definitely a gift – I’ve learned from a recent injury! What an incredible story, thank you for sharing!

  • Alex June 29, 2011, 4:57 pm

    Oh my god this guy is amazing! What an inspiration! Thanks for posting about him.

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) June 29, 2011, 4:57 pm

    Amazing guy! That is truly a feat. I’d be slamming down pizzas, too!

  • Dani June 29, 2011, 5:01 pm

    I can’t think of anything to say other than how f***ing amazing that is!

    Also, peanut butter smoothie? Yum!

  • monicanelsonfitness June 29, 2011, 5:12 pm

    A fun, uplifting, motivating, real, amazing, happy, healthy post. This guy is a badd a$$! 🙂

  • Julie @ Shining From Within June 29, 2011, 5:50 pm

    I want to know how many pairs of shoes he goes through!

  • Kristi June 29, 2011, 5:53 pm

    WOW! What an inspiring guy. That is awesome that you go to run with him.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 29, 2011, 5:58 pm

    That is just friggin awesome all around! 50 miles before lunch!? Makes the 4 miler I’m procrastinating on right now seem like a breeze!

  • Lindsey @ Gluten-Free Lindsey June 29, 2011, 6:01 pm

    Congrats on your run!! 🙂 And that guy is a maniac..inspiring..but crazy. Seriously, casual 50 miles before lunch?!

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas June 29, 2011, 6:03 pm

    WOW! Pat is freakin amazing! I don’t think Icould ever do that… like… even run 50 miles.. ONCE. I wonder how his joints are from such repetitive pounding!

    Burning over 8,000 cal a day is crazy too. I feel like I’d be eating 100% of the time I wasn’t running!

    Great job on running more then 5 miles.. Caitlin’s got her groove back! 🙂

  • Molly @ RDexposed June 29, 2011, 6:05 pm

    That’s so cool!!! That’s all I can say!

  • Molly Barker June 29, 2011, 6:12 pm

    Thank you for running BACK the 2.5 miles with me. It’s pretty darn simple. I love you, girl. You are an amazing spirit moving a very powerful message across the world. Thank you.

  • Angela @ MyPinkyToes June 29, 2011, 6:19 pm

    What a way to get re-motivated! That is sooo cool that you had to opportunity to run with them!!!

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad June 29, 2011, 6:24 pm

    Amazing! What an honor to run with 2 incredible people! Sounds like you had a great day!

  • Katie June 29, 2011, 6:48 pm

    OMG!!!!! That is crazy because I totally saw him and his van last week in my town! I live in Northern Virginia right off I-95, and he was running on route 1. I had no idea who he was or what he was doing but I knew it had to be something important. Now I know! That makes me so excited!

    • Caitlin June 29, 2011, 9:50 pm

      Haha that is SOOO awesome!

  • Mac June 29, 2011, 6:51 pm

    Holy incredible! Congrats on your long run! What a cool experience to get to run with them!

  • kristy @ kristyruns June 29, 2011, 7:01 pm

    whoa! so awesome. i hope he comes through atlanta!!!

  • SaraRM June 29, 2011, 7:03 pm

    How truely awesome was that?!?! Very cool indeed!

    I also believe that running is definitely a gift that should never be taken for granted but I also think that it should be seen as something fun to do not just a chore. Congrats on your long run! 🙂

  • Sarah June 29, 2011, 7:09 pm

    Oh my goodness talk about incredible!! I would love to meet Molly Barker one day. Yayy for GOTR!!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 29, 2011, 7:13 pm

    Uhh it takes me like 3-4 weeks to put away 50 miles. I can’t imagine doing it in one morning! What a crazy guy!!!

  • Ashley @ This Is The Place June 29, 2011, 7:20 pm

    So cool! That guy in incredible…what an awesome day!

  • ashley@cookingforjohn June 29, 2011, 7:26 pm

    you had an epic afternoon! awesome milage, how are your knees feeling?!

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out June 29, 2011, 7:39 pm

    Very cool, Caitlin.

  • Lauren June 29, 2011, 7:44 pm

    That is INSANE!!! It’s almost inhumane to think that someone is capable of that kind of endurance. I am in awe!

  • Hillary June 29, 2011, 8:13 pm

    I find this both insane (in the literal sense) and inspiring all at the same time. What a great experience, Caitlin!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) June 29, 2011, 8:28 pm

    Sounds like such an awesome time! I LOVE that you gave him an Energy Award!!! Haha! I got one from my girls before I ran a race one time! It was adorable!

  • Emily June 29, 2011, 8:29 pm

    What an incredible experience! Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  • Katherine June 29, 2011, 8:45 pm

    Sounds like one awesome run!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit June 29, 2011, 8:52 pm

    I love everything about this post!

  • Melissa June 29, 2011, 9:12 pm

    Wow that is so awesome!! And that was a great experience for those girls…and you!! 😀 yeaaaa 5 miles!!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife June 29, 2011, 9:24 pm

    Okay that is SERIOUSLY cool. I had no idea someone was doing a pole to pole run. UMM amazing, much?! Nice that you got to be there!!

  • Kristyn June 29, 2011, 9:25 pm

    Bad ass Caitlin! Most awesomest day ever I bet. Wow!!!! And congrats on the 5 miles and reignited passion! A freakin mazing!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey June 29, 2011, 9:42 pm

    That is absolutely amazing. Seriously – I am inspired.

  • kristen June 29, 2011, 9:46 pm

    WOW! what an amazing story! And buring 8500 calories thats crazy. It really does show one person really can change the world!

  • michelle June 29, 2011, 9:47 pm

    JEALOUS!! 🙂

    What an amazing day… take notes and remember these feelings!

  • Jin June 29, 2011, 10:12 pm

    we need to realize that it’s not about numbers and exercise is definitely not a chore!! Ever since I started working as a personal support worker as a summer job, I really started to be thankful of the littlest things in life… the ability to cook standing up,to feel the different textures of food, to hop into a car, get on the bus without holding everyone up…etc….
    great post Caitlin! You are an inspiration yourself.

  • Tonya Breen June 29, 2011, 11:35 pm

    So awesome Caitlin. Wish I had know about GOTR when I was in school. I think my attitude about exercise and a teen would have been a lot different! Way to go!

  • Jackie @ That Deep Breath June 29, 2011, 11:39 pm

    What an incredible accomplishment! I can’t even imagine being in his shoes!!

  • Erin @ Naturally Addicted June 29, 2011, 11:39 pm

    OMG that’s awesome! How on earth could you run that much or eat enough to give you enough energy.

  • Khushboo June 30, 2011, 3:05 am

    OH MY GOD! Pat is such an inspiration! Running 50 miles as one-off is a mahoosive accomplishment, I can’t believe that’s a daily occurrence for him! I have no words.

  • Aine @ Something to Chew Over June 30, 2011, 4:29 am

    Wow how does he do it?! It must be so difficult to keep your body fueled and injury-free with that amount of running! What an amazing guy.

  • Sam June 30, 2011, 7:20 am

    That is so cool! Seriously how does he DO it?! But thats awesome you and the girls got to meet him and run with him, that must have been a totally amazing experience!

  • Laura @ Cookies vs. Carrots June 30, 2011, 7:57 am

    Wow, this really is very inspiring! I just finished my morning run, and was feeling kind of ehhhh about it, but now I am pumped!

  • Jes (@Self Motivation) June 30, 2011, 8:39 am

    What an awesome experience! After I graduate, I really want to get involved with GOTR!

  • Cindy Robinson June 30, 2011, 9:25 am

    How amazing, what a humbling experience! I’m glad you were able to soak it in, and get your run on (5 miles!!!). You are right, running (or any exercise for that matter) is truly a gift many cannot experience. Thanks for sharing a great story!

  • Amber K June 30, 2011, 11:48 am

    Hmm…I am almost convinced to start running at the thought of a peanut butter smoothie… 😉

    Wow, that guy is an inspiration!

  • Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen June 30, 2011, 12:11 pm

    I am so impressed by all of you! That is so amazing.

Previous post:

Next post:

Healthy Tipping Point