Will Gregg


My father passed away unexpectedly in August of 2004.  A year later my life felt upside down and I was struggling.  I was tired of slaving through work, my 40th birthday was on the horizon, and I saw no light at the end of the tunnel.  I was unsupportive of my wife and young children and I found no solace at home.   I moved out of the house I had designed and built, in October of 2005, amid tears and frustration.

In February of 2006 a friend of mine brought me up to the Canadian Ski Marathon for the first time.    I don’t know if he thought it might help me directly – or if he thought that for me, like for him, it would be a good mid-winter distraction, or an adventure.  Or perhaps he just knew I loved cross country skiing, and thought I would be good company.

I didn’t sleep much that first night at the Papineauville Dorm, but I sure did the next!  For 2 days I was enveloped by the passion of the skiing, the challenge, and the cold.  I marveled at the supportive camaraderie and united purpose of everyone I met on the trail, on the bus, or serving food and hot honey water to steaming skiers.   The honey water sustained me in the cold and I brought it home imprinted in my mind to my kids and wife.  It was something I knew they would have adored, would be a lure, mythical, motivation.

I was revitalized by my exertions in Canada.  In some way my perspective had been changed. I moved back home in March 2006 to try harder and work through my fears and questions with those I loved.

We will all be at the CSM in 2014 for the 5th time as a family, my 7th trip.  We’re looking forward to the skiing and the people, not the cold as much, but more than anything getting to the honey water at the checkpoint and doing it together.

Thank you CSM, and all who make it possible.

Will Gregg