Leo Rankin will run an individual marathon on June 7 starting at noon in Boitanio Park to help raise money for the ‘Walk for ALS.’

Rankin to run Walk for ALS marathon

I am going to run an individual marathon on June 7 starting at noon in Boitanio Park to help raise money for the ‘Walk for ALS.’

I am going to run an individual marathon on June 7 starting at noon in Boitanio Park to help raise money for the ‘Walk for ALS.’

The ‘Walk for ALS’ is a fundraising effort to fight ALS, fund research and find a cure for this devastating disease.

Nearly 90 per cent of people with ALS die within five years of diagnosis. While some live longer, others die within a few short months. Because it acts so quickly, it is difficult to research and study.

I became involved with fundraising for ALS when my brother Ron contracted the disease and succumbed within two years.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS, is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the famous American baseball player who died of ALS in 1941. ALS is a progressive and ultimately fatal neuromuscular disease, which has no known cause, cure or drug therapy of consequence.

Individuals who are diagnosed with ALS do not typically survive beyond three to five years. This devastating disease slowly robs the individual of the ability to walk, talk, and ultimately, to breathe.

I will run the paved loop in Boitanio Park which is slightly over a kilometer long.

So I will have to complete approximately 42 loops within the park in order to fulfill the marathon distance of 42.2 kilometers.

There will be a table at the start of the run manned by a volunteer where donors can come and make a donation towards supporting the fight against ALS.

If anyone wants to run along with me for a loop or two, they are welcome to join me.

The actual ‘Walk for ALS’ is scheduled for the following week on June 14 beginning at 10 a.m.

I was intending to run my individual marathon on June 14  prior to the actual start of the ‘Walk for ALS’, but I have day surgery scheduled for June 12 and don’t think I will be ready for a marathon for a few weeks.

Please help raise money to find a cure for this devastating disease and support those living with ALS and their families in our community.

The web link to make a donation on the ALS website can be found below.

Come join me on June 7 or come join the walk for ALS on June 14. For more information on ALS, please visit www.als.ca. or to register for the walk in Williams Lake, please go to www.walkforals.ca.


Rankin completes 50-kilometre Dirty Feet Trail Run


On May 4 Rankin completed a 25-kilometre Dirty Feet Trail Run in Kalamalka Provincial Park just outside of Vernon.

He finished first in his age class (60-69) and ninth overall in the men’s category.

His time was 2:47:26 which placed him at least 30 minutes ahead of the next competitor in his age group.

This race is part of the Dirty Feet trail run series sponsored by North Face.

Rankin would have run the Vancouver Marathon but obligations for the “Spring Fling” competition in Kamloops with the Williams Lake Pipe Band, for which he is a novice piper, precluded running in Vancouver without having to drive all night.  However, Vernon is only an hour and a half from Kamloops so an early morning arousal from a warm bed allowed him to get to Vernon by the 8 a.m. registration period.

The race was a single 25-km loop with 1,100 metres of elevation gain and loss.

The course was composed of park access roads, regular hiking trails and single track trails within the park.  It rained throughout the whole race and trails were sometime incredibly steep with slippery rocky wet conditions.

Although the trails were tough, they were also fun and challenging and were extremely well marked with flags and arrows.

At the finish there’s great food waiting such as organic bananas and oranges, sweet and salty snacks and water and recovery drinks. He had the choice of completing 50-km (two 25-km loops) but fortuitously decided to only run one tough lap. If he can stay healthy, he plans to complete one or two more trail runs this summer.

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