NCC shirts running in the marathon (Photo by NCC)

NCC shirts running in the marathon (Photo by NCC)

NCC participates in Canada's oldest marathon

NCC staff running in the marathon (Photo by NCC)

NCC staff running in the marathon (Photo by NCC)

The Scotiabank Calgary Marathon is Canada’s longest-running marathon; it began in 1963 with 19 racers and has grown to more than 15,000 participants annually. For the past four years, the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC's) Alberta staff have run in the event.

Since the not-for-profit organization began participating in 2014, more than 30 NCC employees have taken part in the races, and together have run nearly 600 kilometres. Over the course of four years, NCC has raised $23,000, every penny of which has gone into the General Alberta fund, which can be used for all NCC projects across the province.

Earlier this year, NCC staff added to their marathon fundraising efforts by hosting a silent auction fundraiser. All Items were donated to NCC, with a grand value of over $2,300. Thanks to great participants, more than $1,500 was raised.

Former NCC board member Kevin Van Tighem has been running in the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon since 2013. He has also completed four full marathons and several half marathons.

“I like running marathons simply to prove to myself I can do it,” Van Tighem explained. “I spent my whole life assuming that only athletes and remarkable people did things like running marathons. I started asking myself, 'Am I selling myself short assuming I can’t do it?' Training has made me stay fit and I am in better shape now then I was in 10 years ago.”

Van Tighem has raised several thousand dollars for the marathon through sponsors and has donated the funds to several organizations, such as NCC, Alberta Wilderness Association and Cause Canada. To him, the benefit of combining personal training and social media to fundraise for important causes makes it all worthwhile.

The Scotiabank Calgary Marathon was the first marathon ever organized in western Canada. When founder Doug Kyle created the Calgary Marathon, he was, at the time, one of Canada’s fastest runners, and had competed for Canada at numerous Olympic Games in both the 5,000 and 10,000 metre events. With his Olympic career drawing to a close, the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon allowed him an opportunity to continue participating in the sport he loved.

The Calgary Marathon has been host to some of Canada’s finest marathon runners. It is certified by the Association of International Marathons Society and is used by some as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

To learn more about NCC’s ongoing fundraising initiatives or how you can help our conservation work, contact kysha.moradel@natureconservancy.ca.

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