Later this year, an Upstate New York man is planning to run the entire length of the Erie Canal — that is more than 350 miles, all the way from Albany to Buffalo!

“I’m doing this for my younger cousin Kevin” says Martin Pasternak. “Kevin was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the age of 28 years old. He is currently 35. He’s been fighting it for seven years, and throughout those seven years he has been nothing short of a true inspiration.”

Kevin’s run will help raise not only awareness of colorectal cancer, but also funds for Kevin’s non-profit in their hometown, the Buffalo Colon Corps.

Martin’s also encouraging anyone of any age or ability to join him, either virtually or in-person. He’s calling it the Pain in the Canal Challenge.

“We’re doing a virtual challenge, which over the course of three months from May 15th to August 21st, which is gonna be end of my run, people can run, walk, hike or bike half of the day or the full canal virtually” Martin adds. “There’s going to be a nice little map to follow along the exact trail that I’m running along. We’re going to be having events throughout the virtual challenge and then the week I’m running we’re going to be inviting a bunch of people to come out and run.”

Martin has been training for the run and has had some help from Syracuse University’s Human Performance Laboratory.

“We’re helping a little bit more in the testing side, so we’ve been testing his fitness, his body composition and we’ll keep an eye on him and track him as he gets ready for the big run” says Professor Kevin Heffernan, the lab’s director.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about Syracuse University’s Human Performance Laboratory.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about the Pain in the Canal Challenge, make a donation or sign up to take part.

The route along the Erie Canal Martin Pasternak plans to run in August 2021 to raise awareness of colorectal cancer.