Whether you want to see Olympians, Paralympians, inspiring Multiple Sclerosis champions or hardcore multi-discipline riders, this year’s ATB Gran Fondo Highwood Pass start line on Saturday July 9 will have them all.
The highly acclaimed ATB Gran Fondo Highwood Pass (by “TransRockies” Race Series) and Calgary-based “Branch Out” Neurological Foundation partnered this year to invest in a world free from neurological disorders. TransRockies is donating $5 to Branch Out from each registered rider at the Fondo in support of their efforts around neurological research.
Who to look for:
- Shannon Rempel – 2006 Olympic Games silver medalist in speed skating… 2007 world champion in the team pursuit – Calgary, wearing ATB kit
- Mark Arendz – Double medalist in biathlon at 2014 Paralympic Games… 2013 world champion in 7.5 km biathlon] – Canmore
- Allie Jenkins Bennet – MS patient riding an e-trike – Calgary, wearing ATB kit
- Leighton Poidevin– won 1st place in the men’s over 40, 50-km race in last month’s Rundle’s Revenge and 1st place in the men’s 5 person category of the 2016 Golden 24, has taken many wins in countless other races – Canmore
- Megan Dunn– won 2nd in the mixed pairs category at the 2016 Golden 24, among otehr podium placements in many past races – Canmore
- Jon Firth [Planet Foods, Smith Optics] – won 2nd in the recent Rundle’s Revenge Full Donkey combined bike & run, among tons of wins in other races – Canmore
- Devin Erfle [Deadgoat Racing] – ongoing race contender and always a threat on the dirt, we’ll see what he can do on pavement – Calgary
Shannon Rempel, renowned speed skater for Team Canada, 2006 Olympic silver medalist and World Champion is excited about the ride. “With both my mom and best friend suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the Branch Out Foundation hits close to home and I say yes to every opportunity to help.” said Rempel.
Joining Rempel at the start line will be Allie Jenkins Bennet on an e-trike. He is in the throws of dealing with MS and explained, “Riding the e-trike is such a freeing feeling when you often feel trapped in a body that does not function properly. I can’t wait to ride it at the ATB Gran Fondo Highwood Pass and support Branch Out!”
“With such complex afflictions, whether post concussion, Parkinson’s, MS or Alzheimer’s, there’s a lot of work to do in understanding brain health, treatment and therapy.” explained Crystal Phillips, executive director and co-founder of the Branch Out Neurological Foundation.
Phillips helped kick off Branch Out after an episode with MS changed her life, altering the course of her career as a high performance speed skater. With sheer determination and commitment to a holistic recovery approach, her health has improved significantly. Much of her recovery was done by road biking, which is the bond between Branch Out and the ATB Gran Fondo Highwood Pass.
“The connection between sport and recovery is significant and once we heard about Branch Out we wanted to join their efforts to progress this important work.” said Aaron McConnell, President of TransRockies Race Series.
To support Branch Out Neurological Foundation, register with the TransRockies to ride this year’s ATB Gran Fondo Highwood Pass.