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Chefs pound the pavement, Big Macs for charity


At the weigh-in, both competitors came in at a robust 208 pounds. There’s no word on how much Fairmont Chateau chefs Shane Robilliard and Mike Morgan weighed after running almost 60 kilometres and eating four McDonald’s Big Macs and change. The important thing is that they both survived.

It all started with some good natured trash talking in the Chateau’s kitchens between Robilliard and Morgan. Robilliard is a veteran runner with several marathons and Ironman triathlons under his belt. Morgan is a rugby player with a few Big Macs under his belt.

The challenge was who could run from Whistler to Squamish, and then sit down and eat five Big Macs. They each put up $100 of their own money, and then decided to let other members of the staff in on the action.

The contest was dubbed "The Fatman verses the Ironman" and the event became a fundraiser for the Chateau Whistler Foundation, a staff fund that contributes to local non-profit societies and projects.

Pledges for the two runners swelled to $1,813 on race day, Dec. 3, with last-minute donations from staff members, and the hotel has agreed to match the contribution.

There were also a few format changes leading up to race day. Since the build-up to the run started, Robilliard discovered that they were not allowed to run on the highway to Squamish. To remedy the situation, they set up a pair of treadmills in the banquet hall and set the computer to tick off 59 kilometres. They also moved the date up a week from Dec. 10, because the hotel has more bookings that week.

"It was just a fantastic day," said Robilliard, who finished his run in six hours and 11 minutes. "It really helped that the hotel got behind us on this. All of the employees who were working stopped by on their breaks to say hello, make fun of us, and gave us some really good support. People were making pledges all day and we’ve raise more than $3,600 for charity."

Morgan was let off the treadmill short of the 59 km mark, with 50 km to his credit in 6:15. Robilliard has no doubt that he would have finished the full race, but the treadmills were needed back at the health club.

In the Big Mac eating contest, Robilliard managed to put away four out of five. Morgan came a little closer to the mark with about four-and-a-half Big Mac’s.

At the end of the day, it was declared a draw.

The day after, Robilliard said he was fine except for a few pulled muscles. Nobody was able to reach Morgan, but Robilliard said he would be surprised if he wasn’t nursing a few injuries of his own.

"We’re already talking about how we can top this next year."

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