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Charity run through Rockies to raise money for ill children

Matt Devine will run 300 kilometres through the Rockies in late June to raise funds for the Rainbow Society of Alberta. | Supplied photo

Peter Shokeir | editor@fitzhugh.ca

An endurance athlete will be running in the inaugural 7 in 7 Ultra Endurance Charity Run in June to raise money for children fighting illness.

The 300-kilometre run will begin in Jasper on June 21 at the Jasper Information Centre and end in Canmore on June 28.

Matt Devine, who will be running the race and is organizing it with his wife Nicole, described how he had been clinically obese as well as a smoker and drinker 15 years ago but has since undertaken a personal transformation.

“I would say I’m a very physically fit person now and I’ve changed my lifestyle, but as I got older, I realized I was missing something in my life, and for me that was purpose,” Devine said.

“So, I took some time out and I did some soul searching, and I decided that my purpose would be running and raising money for the Rainbow Society of Alberta, which grants wishes to sick children.”

The run is equivalent to seven marathons being undertaken in seven consecutive days.

The fundraising goal is $50,000, and as of April 22, over $34,000 has been raised.

Regarding why he decided to host the run in the Rockies, Matt Devine said the mountains were a great place for soul searching. 

“As I was growing older and I started looking at what was ahead of me, what the next chapter looked like, I spent a lot of time in Jasper and Banff and Canmore,” he said.

“I love the mountains. I speak (about) it constantly to anybody who wants to talk to me about human transformation.”

Devine will run the full length, while support runners will run along portions of it.

In preparation, he is undertaking test marathons and weight training, and to help overcome his sore muscles, he plans to start a mobility program soon.

Devine anticipated toenails falling off, tremendous pain in the joints, constant stiffness, foot burn and an overall breakdown of the body.

He plans to start early each day to avoid the heat and take shelter if the temperature gets too high.

“Once the race starts, it’s in god’s hands at that point, because it’s something you really can’t train for,” he said.

“It’s a distance that I’ve never come close to running, and I have no idea what to expect.”

For Devine, taking on such an intense challenge was the best way to raise awareness.

“If I say to somebody that I’m going to run 10 kilometres or maybe that I’m going to run a marathon, that’ll raise some heads but not enough to raise $50,000 or more,” he said.

“So, I said I’m going to make this really big. I’m going to motivate as many people as I can who want to take a similar journey that I took to become a fitter person, and in doing so, I hope I get a lot of people motivated to change their lives and help this amazing organization.”

To donate, visit the Rainbow Society of Alberta’s website.

Anyone interested in running a part of the event or has additional questions can email 7in7ultra@gmail.com

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