Dave and Jackie are two runners from Port Alberni, smack-dang in the middle of beautiful Vancouver Island, Canada.

Don’t tell anyone, but Port Alberni is one of the best trail running destinations on the planet.

Dave grew up here. While Jackie was off travelling the globe, Dave was exploring every trail and logging road around. He knows this place better than anybody. And these last few years, now that Jackie’s settled into Port, he’s been showing her all of his special routes.

The silent companions on this blogging venture are Dave’s two dogs. Xhosa is a gentle giant, a Rhodesian ridgeback). Tank is a tough little Yorkie who makes sure he stays up front for even our longest runs. You’ll see them in a lot of our pix.

Why do we run?

We run for the joy of running.

Our runs are fun! We follow new and unknown trails (it doesn’t happen often, but every now and then we come across one that Dave actually didn’t know about). We stop to check out the rocks in a quarry, looking for fossils and gold (Jackie’s on quality-control here; Dave would be mining everything up there if he could). We stop to check out the flowers, or take pictures, or eat berries. We stop to throw throw the dogs in a creek on a hot day.

We run as an excuse to be outside, to explore, to chat and hang out. Sure, we both enter races (Dave is a hotshot Ironman triathlete, and Jackie does crazy multi-day ultras). But that’s not what it’s about. It’s about caring for yourself and respecting your body. It’s about staying fit enough that you can get to places that most people these days, sadly, will never see.

The aim behind this blog is to share with you our joy of running.

  1. #1 by wigglesandtwiggles on January 14, 2012 - 10:16 am

    Hi Dave and Jackie,
    Thank you both very much for creating this blog. I have lived on Vancouver Island since 1982, but have not explored the island anything like the two of you have. Dave, I met you about three years ago at a work related conference on Safety and Security; since then, I have retired from nursing…pretty much a necessity, a segue from a random experience.
    Now I have time to develop my enjoyment of running, swimming and biking and create my new blog about my life. My travel experience happened mainly in my youth and before most of the world had embraced a global world view.
    I have learned how to integrate a cosmic world view into my thinking. This affords me the ability to look to science or philosophy for understanding and meaning making. I am not locked into one particular perspective.
    Jackie, when and if you do travel to Victoria again I am interested in meeting you. I am particularly interested in hearing about and learning about your studies and experience in Australia. Dave I respect your endeavors and your person. You have achieved much since we met.
    I look forward to hearing from either of you via your public blog site.
    Karen Palmer

  2. #2 by Rose Kamma-Sarkany on October 29, 2012 - 9:58 pm

    great blogs, love the adventures.

  3. #3 by wigglesandtwiggles on October 30, 2012 - 1:39 pm

    Please remove my email from your blog site…..purelight1960@gmail.com
    Thanks Karen Palmer

  4. #4 by Karina Dracott on November 21, 2012 - 9:56 am

    Hi Dave and jackie,

    I am an outdoor enthusiast who happened to stumble upon your blog when looking up good hikes near Tofino around Clayoquot Sound, and my boyfriend and I are really interested in hiking lone cone mountain. After reading your blog entry realized I needed to do some planning first. I was wondering if you had advice about contacting Joe Martin to request permission from the Tla-o-qui-aht people before going there, and possibly for transportation as well. I know November is definitely not the best time of year, but we are students and only get to go exploring when there are no exams to study for. Any advice or information you could give me would be much appreciated, I just want to be well planned especially with such few hours of light during the day. Our plan is to head up either early this saturday or sunday, weather dependent.
    My email is karina.dracott@gmail.com, and thanks for your time!

  5. #5 by Patricia Macduff on March 25, 2013 - 12:28 pm

    Hi Dave and Jackie,
    I’m planning on doing the Sun Mountain Ultra this year and am wonder which hotel you chose? Or if you heard any recommendations?
    Thanks so much!

    • #6 by Jacqueline Windh on March 30, 2013 - 7:42 am

      Hi Patricia –
      We are out of the country, about to run a 6-day ultra in Guadeloupe – blog post hopefully coming up later today. Not much internet here… can you please remind me and I’ll respond to you after we get back – after April 12th?

    • #7 by Jacqueline Windh on April 18, 2013 - 9:07 am

      Hi Patricia –

      Last year, we stayed at The Winthrop Inn for $75/night, about a 5-10 minute walk into town (and restaurants).

      A bunch of the other runners stayed at the Cascade Inn, which turned out to be right next door, $95/night.

      Both places were totally fine.

      Dave and I were thinking of going again this year, but he wasn’t sure about getting the days off work – and now it’s full! Did you get in?


  6. #8 by Emma Rozeveld on June 26, 2013 - 4:17 pm

    Hi Dave and Jackie,

    I was googling around looking for information on Port Alberni’s running club (which I sadly found out has been closed) when I stumbled on your blog. I’ve lived in Port for three years and am a running enthusiast but can’t find anyone to run with. I did my first marathon last fall in Victoria but trained totally by myself and I’m now just looking at finding friends who know the trails around town better. I had a run in with a cougar last fall while training and have been too scared to venture out of town on my own. Do you have any suggestions about finding a group? Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated!

    • #9 by davidjgilbert on June 27, 2013 - 8:27 am

      Hi Emma,
      Consider yourself lucky to see a cougar! You may never get another sight of one. Congratulations on your first marathon. there is a facebook link of people going on runs in Port Alberni, check it out.


      Also we are running the trails continuously so we could show you one or two is there any you want to see. What are you training for now? We are going to the 50 km Squamish to Whistler on saturday, trail running.


  7. #10 by Emma Rozeveld on June 27, 2013 - 3:23 pm

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks so much for responding and pointing me on to the Facebook page! That is exactly what I was looking for!

    I’m not training for anything at the moment, I am contemplating doing the marathon in Tofino next year and maybe the half in Victoria this fall. We’ll see.

    Good luck on your 50er this weekend! That is very inspiring!

  8. #11 by sharon on July 2, 2013 - 10:19 pm

    HAVE YOU SEEN THE MESS ON the log train trail right now ,, it is a shame that certain people feel it is OK TO TEAR IT UP WITH BACK HOES ETC ,,

  9. #12 by Brian on July 18, 2013 - 9:28 pm

    Hey Dave and Jackie, I was wondering if you guys were interested in doing a short photo shoot at Mclean Mill @ 11am Saturday, July 20th. I know it is short notice, but shaw cable is promoting the No. 7 challenge (the train vs runners race I am setting up for Aug. 17th) and I could use a couple runners for it! Let me know if you are interested/available! brianwc75@yahoo.com

  10. #13 by Isabel Ostrom on August 20, 2013 - 2:26 pm

    Hi guys – great to meet you last weekend! I’m writing a profile piece on trail running in/around Port Alberni and would like to chat further. I know you’re off to Whistler soon and I leave the island this weekend. Are you free on
    Thursday to get together?
    Or later today (Tues)? Otherwise we could chat on the phone or email when I’m back in Calgary. I would be happy to include the link to your blog if you’d like. I’d really appreciate getting the facts straight with a local 🙂


    • #14 by Jacqueline Windh on August 20, 2013 - 4:33 pm

      Hi Isabel –
      Great to meet you, too!
      Sorry, we are just in our last phases of packing today, heading to Whistler at 6am tomorrow for Dave’s Ironman. So I guess it’ll have to be by phone… we’d be happy to be part of your article!
      We’ll be back home Monday evening… so maybe we can be in touch after that?
      (And congrats on beating the Steam Train!!)

  11. #15 by Jim Craig on October 27, 2013 - 1:04 am


    I am currently putting together a new page on cycling in the Loire Valley and wondered if it would be ok to add a link to you blog posts on the subject. Could I also ask if it would be ok to use some of your pics.?

    • #16 by Jacqueline Windh on November 7, 2013 - 6:59 am

      Hi Jim –

      Sure, we are always happy to have links to our blog posts – no need to ask for that!

      As far as the photos, yes, you can use them for that specific website, provided that each photo is credited to us and with a live-link back to us (we’d like it to be clear to others that they cannot then go and take the photos from your website and use them elsewhere!). So something like:
      Photo courtesy of http://www.daveandjackierun.wordpress.com
      Photo: http://www.daveandjackierun.wordpress.com, used with permission.

      So permission is granted only for the website you have mentioned – any other use must be checked by us.

      Thanks for asking!

  12. #17 by Dave King on February 14, 2014 - 11:49 am

    Hi y’all, I was brought to your sight via some emails about the Himalayan 100. I travel to India 4-5 times a year for work and have been thinking about running the race next October. The altitude won’t present much of a problem (I’ve run a variety of distance and stage races in and around Leadville Co over the past couple of years with no ill effects), but I’m interested in some other details about the race. While your pictures and comments provide a lot of info and are really interesting and helpful, I was wondering about some of the nitty-gritty logistics. What are the food options like, what about water, overnight sleeping and cleanup facilities, aid stations, medical backup, connections to the outside world, etc? I’m not looking for 5 star accommodations, but I’m also not interested in 5-6 of wilderness camping. Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Dave King

    • #18 by Jacqueline Windh on February 14, 2014 - 12:33 pm

      Hi Dave –

      Some quick answers…

      Food is great, all provided, most meals a mixture of traditional Indian food (yummy, lots of choices!) and “American” food such as pasta etc. Some breakfasts are just oatmeal (which was fine, especially when it was cold) and some were mor substantial.

      Water is all bottled – sometimes provided, sometimes you have to buy bottles for your rooms (cheap).

      Overnight sleeping was never camping – sometimes basic hotel rooms (nothing fancy, but totally fine) and on top of the mountain more like hostel accommodation, very cold rooms with the wind blowing through but massive fleece blankets were provided (in addition to your own sleeping bag, which you must bring).

      Cleanup facilities – there were showers everywhere, but not always lots of hot water. I’d suggest bringing wetwipes, enough of them to wash your whole body, which some nights was preferable to braivng the shower.

      Aid stations were definitely sufficient – nothing fancy, but water stations every 8 or so km and food stations (boiled potatoes and salt, bananas, sugar cookies, always the same) every 15 or so km. If you want other foods than those on the course, you should carry them.

      Medical back-up was great, two doctors around all the time, and they were very proactive the first night on going to rooms to check that people weren’t too sick from the altitude/exertion to go out and seek help. You need to bring a very complete first aid kit, including a range of antibiotics (race organizers will give you a list) – the doctors will check you and tell you what you need, but they will not have access to get the medications, you need to have some basic things (bandages, too) in stock.

      Connections to the outside world – some people were able to text from some locations (depending what country their cell plan was from) but there was no internet connection available the whole time.

      It is not “luxury” but it is far from “wilderness camping.” I think everything was in the comfort-range for most people (sometimes there were toilet situations that were pretty gross… but other than that). The Indian food for me was a real highlight!

      Hope that helps. And I encourage you to do this race – it was a real highlight of my whole running and travelling career!


  13. #19 by Dave King on February 16, 2014 - 2:28 pm

    Thanks very much for the info. It really helps.

  14. #20 by James Lewis on September 26, 2014 - 3:53 pm

    Hi Dave,
    I was selling granola/energy bars at the Squamish farmers market and you bought a box. I just wanted to follow up and see how you enjoyed them. I’m very keen to find out how people who are very active feel about the product. Any feed back is appreciated.
    Thanks, all the best,

    • #21 by davidjgilbert on October 22, 2014 - 8:51 am

      Hi, So sorry for the delay. We loved your bars, Jackie even took them down to an ultra in Patagonia. We will be doing a post.

  15. #22 by Ron on December 21, 2014 - 10:37 am

    Hi Dave and Jackie
    Thanks for sharing your adventures they are motivational and inspiring
    Ron and Jackie

    • #23 by Jacqueline Windh on December 21, 2014 - 11:20 am

      Hey Ron and Jackie, we really enjoyed meeting you guys last night too. Seems like we’ve got a lot in common, both re: values and what we like to do for “fun.” Hopefully we’ll get out on some adventures tpgether some time!

  16. #24 by Catherine Cartagena on June 3, 2017 - 7:44 pm

    It was so nice to see you both on the Arrowsmith trail, I have the photo for you that you wanted. I don’t know how to send it 🙂

  17. #26 by Harinder Singh on May 19, 2019 - 5:18 pm

    HELLO, I want to speak with you re: a hike in Port Alberni. Could you please contact me at hsdandona@yahoo.ca

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