Rocky Mountain House’s Ronnie Vickers, 74, will marathon 42 kilometres to raise money for the Red Deer Hospice Society. Contributed photo

74-year-old man marathoning for Red Deer Hospice Society

Ronnie Vickers will marathon May 16 in Rocky Mountain House

Ronnie Vickers has been participating in the Woody’s RV World Marathon in Red Deer since 2017.

But the 74-year-old Rocky Mountain House resident won’t be able to participate in the event this year, due to its cancellation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When you’re doing a marathon, it takes a long, long time to train,” said Vickers, who has been training through nordic walking since January.

“When it was cancelled, I had already been training for about 10 weeks, so I figured what the heck, I’m just going to keep doing it and I’ll do it alone in Rocky.”

With help from his friend Kent Plosz, Vickers has created an online fundraising page to support the Red Deer Hospice Society.

“Kent said to me, ‘Even if you only raise $20, that’s $20 they wouldn’t have received if you just went out and did this on your own.’ Now it’s all starting to come together and I’m pretty excited about it,” he said.

Vickers has raised about $1,800 for the hospice society.

“I’ve had various members of my family who have passed away from cancer over the years, and friends who have actually used the hospice, and it’s just a fantastic place. It’s very near and dear to my heart,” Vickers said.

The fundraising page is called Scottie’s Marathon, which is a nod to Vickers’ Scottish roots – he emigrated to Canada from Scotland in 1970.

The first half-marathon Vickers participated in was Oktoberfest in Red Deer in 2016, when he was 69 years old.

In his first Woody’s event in 2017, Vickers participated in the 21-kilometre half-marathon. In 2018 and 2019, he did the full 42-kilometre version, which will be the same distance he will travel for Scottie’s Marathon.

“I just started doing this a few years ago. It’s one of those things that you have to say in your head, ‘I’m going to do this.’ Of course, it takes a lot of endurance as well, but a lot of it is mental fortitude.

“You can ask runners about it and they’ll tell you that you have to be serious about this kind of thing.”

Vickers’ marathon is Saturday in Rocky Mountain House.

The fundraising page will remain open until May 27. To donate, visit

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Rocky Mountain House’s Ronnie Vickers, 74, will run 42 kilometres Saturday to raise money for the Red Deer Hospice Society. Contributed photo

Just Posted

UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Quality Inn & Suites in Rimbey. Photo Submitted
Rimbey hotel gets new lease on life

The Quality Inn & Suites in Rimbey is now open and taking bookings

Leanne Evans, Rimbey Neighbourhood Place Program Coordinator, accepts a donation of $5,000 from Kevin Maxwell manager of Field Support for Telus. (Photo Submitted)
Rimbey Neighbourhood Place making big changes behind the scenes

Rimbey Neighbourhood Place recently recieved a $5,000 donation from Telus

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals say Tory effort to set up COVID-19 committee will be a confidence matter

The Tories were originally proposing an ‘anticorruption’ committee

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Advisers are reportedly recommending Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 4 arts and social studies curriculum remove all references to residential schools because it's "too sad" for young children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Advisers suggest Alberta students not learn about residential schools before Grade 4

Documents suggest children younger than Grade 4 are too emotionally vulnerable to learn about residential schools

File photo
RCMP’s response to online discussions about anti-racism demonstrations

Ponoka RCMP Staff Sgt.’s comments misattributed online

Shaelynn Decock and her dog Taco, who has been missing since Aug. 26. Photo Submitted
Sylvan Lake woman looking for closure for her stolen dog

Shaelynn Decock says it has been two months since she last saw her dog Taco

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Most Read