Take Me Outside

Running Across the Canadian Landscape That Shapes Us

By (author): Colin Harris
ISBN 9781771604659
Softcover | Publication Date: April 27, 2021
Book Dimensions: 5.25 in. x 8 in.
240 Pages

About the Book

One educator’s story detailing a cross-Canada run to inspire students and teachers to get outside and experience the benefits and beauty of nature.

You’d think starting a non-profit organization aimed at getting young people to spend less time in front of screens and more time outside would be difficult enough. But with a decrepit support vehicle housing two dogs that despised each other, a good friend who left after five months, a lot of peanut butter, and a hope to inspire thousands of students, Colin Harris decided to start this journey by running 7600 kilometres, the equivalent of 181 marathons, across Canada. And to ensure this was a truly Canadian venture, he started in the bleak and snowy month of January.

Take Me Outside is Colin’s story of spending nine months running from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Victoria, British Columbia, visiting over 80 schools along the way to engage with 20,000 students about the importance of spending time outside learning, playing, and exploring in the Canadian landscape. With one of the biggest and best backyards in the world, people across Canada are spending the vast majority of their time inside. Yet, our identity as Canadians has always been rooted in our relationship with the outdoors. This wildly entertaining book not only recounts what it’s like to run across the world’s second-largest country but also implores readers of all ages to reignite their connection with the natural world.

About the Author(s)

Colin Harris is the founder and executive director of Take Me Outside. He initiated the organization by running 7600 km across Canada over nine months, going into 80 schools across the country and engaging 20,000 students in the conversation about their time spent in front of screens compared to their time spent outside, being active and connecting to nature. Colin has been immersed in the field of outdoor and environmental education for over 15 years. He has been the director of outdoor education at an Ontario-based centre, he has instructed canoe trips for Outward Bound Canada, and he has worked with Indigenous students in the Western Arctic Leadership Program in NWT. He has taught grades 7 and 8 and has completed a Master’s of Environmental Education and Communication through Royal Roads University. He enjoys trail running, writing, and continuing to find ways to engage Canadian students in exploring this country’s incredible backyard. Colin lives in Banff, Alberta.


“This is a compelling story told by an honest, sincere and thoughtful dreamer who refused to give up. Want to stop feeling guilty and unfulfilled because of all that time you spend in front of a screen and in indentured zoomitude? Go, behold! Learn and be inspired by the vastness and stunning beauty of this great land. Take Me Outside!” — Robert W. Sandford, Chair in Water and Climate Security at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health; author of some 30 books, including Our Vanishing Glaciers; Water, Weather and the Mountain West; The Anthropocene Disruption; and Cold Matters

“In Take Me Outside, Colin Harris shares his adventure with humour and passion. It’s a wonderful story of endurance that showcases the Canadian landscape and will appeal to anyone, runner or not. He has motivated numerous children to explore the outdoors and embrace nature. Harris overcomes all the odds in order to share his message, achieve his goal and inspire us all.” — Martin Parnell, marathoner, motivational speaker and author of The Ageless Athlete; Marathon Quest; The Secret Marathon; and Running to the Edge

“In the human-powered spirit of the First Nations peoples, the voyageurs and explorers John Palliser, David Thompson and Simon Fraser, Colin Harris helps bind us together through his journey across this vast and beautiful landscape we now call Canada. Take Me Outside inspires all of us, young and old, to connect to our past and shape our future by challenging ourselves on the landscape. Harris’s run was heroic, not because he put one foot in front of the other from coast to coast but because, like Terry Fox, he did it for a cause greater than himself: to inspire youth to explore this incredible landscape we call our home.” — Ken Wylie, internationally certified mountain guide; experiential educator; author of Buried

“A compelling story of grit and adventure as one man scales the unpredictable terrain of Canada in pursuit of two powerful and parallel missions: preserving identity and compelling others to get outdoors.” — Angela Hanscom, founder of TimberNook and author of Balanced and Barefoot