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Climb and run for wilderness celebrates 20th year PDF Print E-mail
Written by ASHLEY TYMKO   
Friday, 08 April 2011 08:56

Alberta Wilderness Association says annual event is more than just a climb

The good weather is approaching, and what a better way to celebrate than to participate in the 20th annual Climb and Run for Wilderness hosted by the Alberta Wilderness Association.

Gord Hobbins, owner of Gord’s Running Store, has taken part in this event for the past six years – both as a participant and sponsor.

“It is a very positive way to help dedicate ourselves to a good cause; it has been a very good relationship for us as far as our community involvement.

“It is a great family event. Climbing the Calgary Tower is more do-able than a lot of people think. I am always impressed by the whole thing, as far as educational things go, as it teaches people to do their part in their community,” Hobbins says.

“Overall, it will foster good habits amongst yourself and neighbours as well. The crowd is getting bigger and bigger each year,” he says.

Competitive climbers try to climb the 802 stairs as many times as they can in five hours. The record for number of climbs is held by Jonathan Heinz, with 25 climbs - or 20050 stairs.
Photo courtesy of D. Olsen, Alberta Wilderness Association

Nigel Douglas, conservation specialist at the Alberta Wilderness Association, thinks the climb is a very important event for Calgarians.

“It is an event to raise money for the awareness and to promote conservation for our environment. It’s an opportunity for all of these organizations to showcase what they are doing throughout the province.”

The Climb and Run for Wilderness is an all-day event that involves a variety of activities. Along with the climb, the event includes entertainment for all ages: musicians, clowns, face painters and dancers.

“It’s a fun event. It is a great day with a wonderful atmosphere," Hobbins says. "There are people from all ages who participate in the stair climb. It is a chance to learn a lot about what is going on in the province and what people can do to get involved.

“The first time I brought my children, my daughter was three and my son was six. He got up in about 15 minutes and my daughter did it in 20 minutes."

“It is a lot easier than people expect and it is such a positive thing from a physical perspective. It’s something to look forward to.”

Jay Cowan, of Aspen Properties (the company that owns the Calgary Tower), says that they are proud to be a part of the event.

“So many people get involved, including 150 volunteers.

“It is a wonderful group (the Alberta Wilderness Association) that looks after and raises money to help protect all land, wilderness and water. This is the largest event that we have hosted of this kind at the tower.”

“It’s a celebration," Douglas says. "We expect over a 1,000 people this year. We have some people come down here to climb up the stairs once or others who come to climb up as many times as they can in the five hours of time we provide.

“There is also a wildlife expo with a bunch of displays and different divisions that work in the environmental field so there is a whole bunch of things for people of all ages to do during the day. It isn’t just the climb.”

This event will take place April 16 at the Calgary Tower. If you would like to participate visit: