Running the Flat Earth


p1070947This was supposed to be a post about the festival in Tilting but I got distracted! I only got a small taste of the festival but learned a lot about topography  and runners on the weekend.

The detour began when I managed to catch Kay Burns just as she was trying to close up the Museum of the Flat Earth for the evening. Because they have hours limited to Friday and Saturday, I hadn’t managed to catch the new attraction open.

Kay was eager to show me the exhibits and tell me some of their version of the Flat Earth theory. Apparently there are many theories and the history and artifacts and the collection here makes the Museum of the Flat Earth fall in the genre of an imaginary museum.

As a former teacher, I couldn’t help but think this would be an really fun geometry field trip!

I’m pretty sure I could tie in some mapping concepts and maybe even some story writing.

The museum explores the ideas that ‘spherists’ reject, that the earth is not round. There are theories of various shapes and the artifacts include various models including 3D printed cubes. The flat disk is only one possibility.

I especially enjoyed Farley Mowat’s response to being invited to join the Flat Earth Society. You’ll have to visit to check it out.

With a cup of Flat Earth Coffee (roasted on Fogo Island by Curtis Burns) in hand, I headed to Deep Bay for a quiet Friday night. (Tilting Shed Crawl was long sold out.)

My Flat Earth post theme became reinforced from another experience of the weekend; cheering on and photographing runners in the first ever Fogo Island Half Marathon.

Starting at the Island Harbour/Deep Bay junction, 100 runners ran to Tilting as part of this inaugural event. It was a cold and windy day and I can’t even imagine the motivation and training it took to do the event.


I started by heading to Tilting for lunch at the Fire Hall and then met a few runners and took some before shots.

Over soup and sandwiches, a number of us practiced our best excuses as to why we weren’t in the race. Noel Mount’s, “I don’t do anything by half.” was probably the most witty cop out.


In support of my lovely friend Jill, I stationed myself to get a shot of her and the Fogo Island Inn. I was barely parked when the first runner started his climb up the Tilting road from Joe Batts Arm.


The second runner was way too polite, using his breath to say  Thank You when I told him he was doing great. Every breath counted at that point, I’m sure.

I cheered and encouraged and may have given them the impression it was the last hill (someone told me there’s never a last hill). I happened to have a case of water in the car so opened some bottles and offered it as they ran past.


An then it happened, a group of three runners coming up the hill and managing a stilted converstation. I didn’t get it all but to paraphrase, it was something along  the lines of, “Flat Earth my arse.”

I couldn’t help but make the connection to the Museum of the day before!

I could picture the start of the run.

Flat and scenic with ponds on both sides of the water, lined by ancient rock.If they notice things like that. Right through Shoal Bay it’s relatively civil and then there’s the climb going towards Barr’d Island. Joe Batt’s Arm is pretty hilly but the Inn and the lovely stages are a nice distraction, then you turn the road towards Tilting.

Even in my Honda Civic, I have to gear down!

I held my spot until Gerri ran by. I gave her a little pep talk and she told me she had stopped to the house for a pee and was doing alright for someone who’d be 68 next weekend.


And on she went.


I followed and passed some runners and picked my next point where I knew they were cresting the hill and starting a long downgrade with Tilting in view. Blowing the horn to keep them coming, I told them they were finally heading on the final stretch. Again, along comes Gerri with her husband following in the pick up truck. He parked at the top of the hill and watcher her in the rearview mirror.

He told me “She’ll finish, supposing she has to crawl.”


When she crested the hill I shouted “He’s some proud of you.”

She replied along the lines he should be, they’ve been together for 50 years.

The next time I saw her, she was crossing the finish line.


Congratulations and happy birthday!

You ran the Flat Earth!




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