The Fernie Mountain Biking Club (FMBC) has thrown its support behind efforts to raise $300,000 for an ultrasound service at the Elk Valley Hospital.
The club will be running the inaugural Elk Valley Epic on Sep. 5 and 6 between Elkford and Fernie in an effort to help the ‘beneath the surface’ fundraiser organized by the East Kootenay Foundation for Health (EKFH) get across the line.
“We’re doing this for our community and to get people off the highway,” said FMBC chair, Troy Nixon.
“We’ve had some brutal storms come through here, so just think about somebody having to drive through it for an ultrasound that could be done here in Fernie.
The epic will span 74 km from Elkford and Fernie, and according to Nixon (who has done the route a few times already), it was meant to be a route that would allow participants to appreciate the whole Elk Valley, but the distance was secondary to getting as many riders as possible taking part and raising awareness for the need for ultrasound services here in the valley.
“74 km might seem like its a long way, but just think of the 100km people have to drive on icy roads in winter in order to get necessary ultrasound services.”
The club will be setting up an aid station in Sparwood for riders that only want to do part of the course, and the event will have staggered starting times to ensure it’s safely physically distanced.
Teck Resources has also gotten behind the EKFH fundraiser, committing to matching donations up to $50,000 made before Sep. 30.
All participants in the Elk Valley Epic must be members of the FMBC in order to meet event insurance requirements, though participants don’t have to ride a mountain bike for the entire course as they are also free to walk or run.
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