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Locals aim to get muddy for charity

Obstacle course and horse ride should both prove messy but effective fundraisers

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014 01:45 pm

READY TO RIDE – Nicole Kent is preparing to do her third Atmore Hoof-A-Thon to raise money for the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute.
READY TO RIDE – Nicole Kent is preparing to do her third Atmore Hoof-A-Thon to raise money for the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute.
BROMLEY CHAMBERLAIN/Great West Newspapers

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Bellerose Composite High School grad Rob Deltombe wants to make sure that cancer is stopped in the muddiest way possible.

The former St. Albertan organized the Down and Dirty five-kilometre obstacle course as a fun fundraiser for the Cross Cancer Institute. While last year’s event happened on a hastened schedule that slipped many people’s notices, he’s putting up publicity a lot earlier this time around.

“Last year was a big scramble for us. We started late. I had no idea how long it would take to set up a non-profit. It was mind-boggling!” Deltombe said.

Despite the hasty organization, he still saw 350 participants take on the challenge and bring in about $70,000 for the institute.

The event is a stretch for the man who otherwise works full-time as a chiropractor in Edmonton. He clarified that the obstacle course is not a way of building up a roster of patients. There were no major injuries during the 2013 run but at least he is a health professional just in case there are problems.

“I’m handy to have around.”

Down and Dirty 2014 is set to take place on Sunday, Aug. 17 at Sunridge Ski Area in Edmonton. It will feature 13 or 14 obstacles, a few more than last year.

“There’s lifting, dragging, balance beams, and lots of mud and water. We had a 60-foot slip’n slide last year so hopefully we’ll have that again. It’s generally just a really good time. We had a super fun atmosphere and we got to meet some really interesting people.”

The goal for this race is $100,000. Deltombe is confident that the goal will be met and surpassed.

For more information on participating or contributing to the cause, please visit www.albertacancer.ca/downanddirty2014.

Riding for heart health

One local equestrian and her equine friend are getting ready to hoof it up to help people’s hearts.

Nicole Kent will be saddling up May 3 for the 29th annual Atmore Hoof-A-Thon. It will be her third time taking the 30-kilometre horseback ride in north-central Alberta in support of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute.

“Everybody gathers together on the morning of the ride with their horses and their trailers and their covered caravans and wagons and everything,” she said.

The experienced rider said it’s always a great time even though the 2013 event was “super muddy.” There were 150 riders who all contributed to bring in more than $25,000 for the institute. Despite the environmental factors, all get to enjoy a picnic lunch and spirits stay light.

“It’s super fun,” Kent said.

The day starts at 8 a.m. and ends with supper, entertainment and prizes.

The Mazankowski is one of the country’s leading centres for the prevention and treatment of all forms of heart disease and for all ages. It first took patients in the summer of 2009, offering comprehensive cardiac surgery, cardiology services and education for patients plus training for future cardiac care professionals, researchers and educators.

Kent said she participates because heart disease has been a big problem in her family.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday, May 3.

“Rain or shine, snow or sleet, we ride,” explains the Hoof-A-Thon’s website.

All ages and sizes of riders are welcome to get involved.

Atmore is east of Athabasca near the junction of Highway 55 and Highway 63.

To donate directly to Kent, call her at 780-729-7514. For more information, send an email to atmoreride@yahoo.ca or visit www.atmorehoofathon.blogspot.ca.


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