Work has been just as frantic. His company, 365 Technologies, supports two thousand computer users at companies across Winnipeg. “We got really busy as everyone moved to a work from home scenario so our help desk was slammed with remote work setups.” As for Michael and Bronwen’s wedding, it was supposed to be in July. It’s since been postponed.
Faced with chaos, others might have given up on training, but Michael is stubborn. About his running, he says, “My only real skill is stubbornness and the ability to just continue suffering to keep going.” His running coach, Travis Schiller-Brown with Personal Peak Endurance Coaching says, “He... likes digging deep and pushing hard and having these big audacious goals.”
Case in point, Michael’s first marathon. “So I ran my first full marathon at the Manitoba marathon in 1995 at age 16... it was plus 35 (Celsius) and they shut down the course came by in a van and told me to jump in at mile 25 and I told them I wouldn't be happening because my medal was 1.2 miles up the road so then I finished out the race.”
It only makes perfect sense that Michael ran the Canadian Death Race in 2001 and finished a single loop of the Barkley Marathons in 2003 with RunUphill's Gavin Harmacy, before moving on to adventure racing for a couple of years. He says, “And then life just got busy. I went back to school. I did my MBA and got busy with work in 2010 when I started my company.”
Then he recalls, “I think it was about the spring or summer of 2014 that I got tired of talking about the athlete that I used to be.” Apparently, Michael doesn’t believe in easing into things so he signed up for Manitoba’s Spruce Woods Ultra in the 50-mile event, placing 6th overall. Before the pandemic hit, he was training for a couple of "golden ticket" races for an invitation to Big’s Backyard Ultra this fall, a race he ran in 2018, logging 100 miles in under 24 hours.