You can do a short jaunt or commit to a longer run, but whatever you choose, the Jasper Canadian Rockies Half Marathon on April 23 will be a fun way to raise money for the Jasper Healthcare Foundation.
Trevor Soll, owner/director of MultiSportsCanada, said this will be the fifth time the marathon has been held in Jasper.
“This year, our goal is to raise $15,000 toward the purchase of three emergency room hospital beds,” Soll said.
“If a person signs up, they can donate to the causes themselves. (As well,) part of the entry fee goes to the JHCF.”
The event was first staged in 2016 and last held in 2019, as COVID shut the half marathon down for a couple of years.
MultiSportsCanada is partnering with the Jasper Healthcare Foundation (JHCF) for this event.
Soll said the company previously partnered with Ronald MacDonald House in 2016.
“After that, we switched to the JHCF, because they do probably 99 per cent of the volunteer base for our events. It’s great they get to keep this in the community.”
Soll added that MultiSportsCanada had a great partnership with Pursuit.
Fundraising is the focus of the marathon, but Soll said there are “multi-faceted” drivers.
“It’s to draw people into Jasper to do a sporting event, filling in the shoulder season, and drawing in people from further away than Edmonton,” he said.
“There’s the commercial (part) for other businesses. We’re trying to work a big return to the hospitality community the best we can, considering the last couple of years.”
Previous marathons included participants from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
“It’s a good lead for people getting into the marathon season,” Soll said.
“This helps people gauge their fitness level. That’s the main draw.”
As of March 31, 850 people have signed up to do the marathon.
“Parks Canada gave us the capacity for 1,200 participants,” Soll said.
“In 2019, we had just under 1,000 participants; about three per cent were Jasper community members.”
Soll also invited people to sign up to volunteer for the event.
The main run is 21.1 kilometres, and there will also be 10-kilometre, five-kilometre and one-kilometre runs.
“Those are for people who don’t have training to do marathons or want to come into town to do a shorter event,” Soll said.
All races start and finish in the parking lot adjacent to Home Hardware.
Athletes exit the parking area, head south along Hazel, cross the highway and then head along 93A towards the Icefield Parkway.
Just prior to the intersection, athletes turn around and head back the same way and turn east onto Old Fort Point Road.
The 21K athletes follow this through the Jasper Park Lodge property and then into Lake Annette.
Runners do a counter-clockwise loop around Lake Edith and return the same way to Hazel Avenue and the finish.
People can register at jaspercanadianrockieshalf.ca
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