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Local ultramarathoner lacing up for Odyssey House fundraiser

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A local ultramarathon runner will be pushing himself further than ever has, all to raise money for Odyssey House in Grande Prairie.

Phil Troyer, who has in recent years taken on the Canadian Death Race in Grande Cache, will be lacing up his shoes to trek 200 miles through the Grande Cache area in just 120 hours, with all donations collected going to the Odyssey House Emergency Women’s Shelter. Troyer says he has never come close to anything like the distance he has planned out for, but, he couldn’t think of a better time, or better reason, to try.

“If I do it for a cause, a good reason, and know there are people counting on me to finish this thing, I’m more inclined to do it,” he says. “The work they do is just incredible, and we are just fortunate to have them in Grande Prairie.”

Odyssey House Director of Communications Makayla Marcotte says they are overwhelmed with just how far Troyer is willing to go to raise money for the organization.

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“It’s a massive time commitment for him… it’s a hobby, it’s your full time job, it’s so consuming,” she says.

“For him to put not only his values into our work, but to physically put his health into it to, it’s such a big step,” she adds.

The runner says he and the organization had discussed doing something similar, albeit, on a smaller scale back in 2020. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the idea was shelved. Troyer says one of the biggest hurdles he has faced when coming up with the event was simply finding a place to map out.

“200 miles is a long way any way you look at it, so even trying to find 200 miles of trail to run was a challenge in itself,” he adds.

He says, in the end, he will be using a modified version of the Grande Cache Death Race route, at points, doubling back two or three times to make it work. Troyer says the hope is to raise $10,000 for the run. He will take his first steps on the run at 3 a.m. on July 14th.

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