24 hours of golf for Surrey pastor, 62

SURREY – A local church pastor spent Father’s Day golfing – but not the way most dads hit the links.


John Burns, 62, played the hilly Peace Portal course for close to 24 hours, starting Sunday evening (June 21), in a bid to raise money and support for a favourite charity of his.


Burns, known as "PJ" to his staff at Relate Church in Surrey, teed off at 8:30 p.m. and, carrying his own clubs, ran and played as many holes of golf as he could over the following 24 hours. He played through the night wearing a head lamp and hitting golf balls that light up.


The Now caught up with Burns during a rest break at around 3:30 p.m. Monday.


"I’ve done 182 holes so far, running," said an exhausted Burns. "I’ve never been so tired in my life," he admitted. "Not that I want to sleep but my body is just – oh. So I’m going to take another shower to kind of revitalize everything and keep going."


Burns was expected to run close to 65 miles and climb the equivalent of 400 flights of stairs during his golf marathon, a fundraiser for the Watoto and Mercy Ministries of Canada organizations.


As his "golf-a-thon" came to a close, nearly $200,000 had been raised.


To train, Burns had played 36 holes of golf, running, daily for about a month now.


"In 2008, my doctor said I had to change my lifestyle…. I decided to join the golf course – but golf takes so long to play. I got out there first thing in the morning and I’d walk really fast, and that evolved to running the course, jogging. So now I can play 18 holes in an hour and 10 minutes in the morning. It works for me."