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Half-marathon for Jasper healthcare needs volunteers


Craig Gilbert |

Stand still and help save a baby’s life.

The third annual Jasper Half-Marathon has more than 1,000 registered athletes already ready to take on whatever weather the Rockies throw at them this Saturday, but the event that raised $9,000 for charity last year is still looking for volunteers.

There are a number of positions, some are as simple as directing race traffic, and take about four or five hours, according to race organizer Trevor Soll of MultiSport Canada. Some, like snack prep, take as little as three.

“A lot of athletes are fair-weather, so if it’s doable they’ll sign up at the last minute,” he said, “but we’re well ahead of where we were last year. It’s good to get the town filled up.”

Click here to register for the 1-, 5-, 10- or 21-km runs.

Positions that remain available include:

  • Registration from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Course Captains from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Event Set-up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Event Tear-down from 3:30-5 p.m.
  • Race Lead Cyclists 12:30-4 p.m.
  • Race Sweep Cyclists 12:30-4 p.m.
  • Run Course Marshalls 12-4 p.m.
  • Water Station Support 12-4 p.m.
  • Start and Finish Line Support 12-4 p.m.
  • Hospitality (prepare post race snacks) 2-5 p.m.
  • Photographers 12:30-5 p.m.

Email Connie Tiesenhausen or call or text her at 780-931-2492 to step forward.

The event is a partnership between Parks Canada, the municipality of Jasper, Multisport Canada, the Jasper Park Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Jasper and the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

It’s all for the Jasper Healthcare Foundation, which this year is fundraising to buy a fetal heart monitor (FHM) for Seton Hospital in addition to the up to $10,000 in scholarships it tends to hand out each year to locals working in or toward a career in health care.

An FHM can monitor the child’s heartbeat in the womb for signs of duress or indications mom is going into labour. It’s the type of specialized equipment that is less likely to be found at a small hospital like Seton, according to the chair of the six-member JHF board Eleanor Baraniuk.

“The healthcare foundation is all about giving back to the community,” she said, “and the support of the community is key to what we do. All of the money we bring in we give back. This year, you can help save a baby’s life.”

Helen Switzer was a nursing attendant when Alpine Summit Seniors Lodge opened in 2008. She went back to school the next year to become a licensed professional nurse (LPN) and now cares for all the residents who have a level of dementia that prevents them from going in to the community on their own in what’s called the designated assisted living unit.

Scholarships from the JHF helped with her books and tuition.

“I really enjoy it as an LPN,” Switzer said on Monday. “We have more responsibilities and we work 12 hours instead of eight and we get night shifts. So the hours were better as a nursing attendant (she laughs) but I really enjoy my job, working with all jasper seniors in that unit.

“It’s all good.”

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