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He's run through the sand of the Sahara Desert, raced across Death Valley and next month Albert Martens of Steinbach will be running with the polar bears in Churchill. Martens is helping organize the first ever Polar Bear Marathon November 20th through Athletes In Action.
Martens has used ultra-running to raise approximately $250,000 for various charities over the years. He has run 46 full marathons, 11 Ultra Marathons and through the course of his life has run 40,074 kilometres, equal to the distance of once around the world.
The idea for the Polar Bear Marathon came from Antarctic Mike (Pierce) from San Diego. Pierce was in Manitoba two winters ago and ran in Winnipeg with Martens in -30 temperatures.
"He wanted something colder and tougher and further north," notes Martens. They decided upon the idea of running in Churchill right after the tourist season. Martens says that way there will be hotel space and likely bears walking around.
Nearly twenty runners have registered from around the world including Manitoba, the United States, Germany and Australia. Martens expects they will run in groups of four. Each group will be accompanied by a vehicle with a bear watcher. "I think they will have some ammunition of some sort to protect us, because they of course are very interested in keeping us safe," says Martens.
Martens anticipates very challenging conditions. He expects frigid temperatures and a strong, salty wind. "I suppose if the Hudson Bay is not frozen the bears will be around too, so we will have to contend with the safety for the runners," he says.
The race is expected to be run down a gravel road with large rocks and no trees for shelter. "So we'll be exposed to the elements and challenges of the wind and the extreme cold possibly," notes Martens.
He jokes though called a marathon, it's not a race and the goal is simply to finish.
Two days later, on November 22nd, Athletes In Action is holding a dessert night fundraiser in support of their First Nations Ministry. Martens says Eric Alexander will be the evening's guest speaker. Alexander is the author of Faith Beyond Everest's Death Zone. Alexander has climbed the highest mountains on all six continents with a handicapped climber. He also took Eric Weihenmeyer, a blind climber to the summit of Mount Everest.
Provencher Member of Parliament Ted Falk says his government will not be intimidated by Wednesday's acts of violence. Falk is referring to
Emergency crews were called to the intersection of Highway 12 and Park Road at 12:14AM Thursday morning. Constable James Zambon explains
Residents of Hanover have re-elected Stan Toews to a third term as Reeve. Toews picked up 1497 votes compared to challenger Clif Bakx who
The Town of Ste. Anne will wake up to brand new leadership Thursday morning. Residents voted in new mayor, Richard Pelletier along with fo
Art Bergmann is delighted to resume his duties as Ste. Anne Reeve after a close electoral race Wednesday night. Bergmann ended up with 587
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All six Steinbach city council incumbents were re-elected Wednesday. Earl Funk had the highest vote total followed by Michael Zwaagstra, J
After an evening of waiting for all ten polling station results to be announced, Lewis Weiss has won the position of Reeve for the Rural M
The final results for the Hanover School Division trustee election are as follows. Ward One (Niverville, New Bothwell, Kleefeld, Crystal
There was a two vehicle collision Wednesday night on Highway #12 at the south end of Ste. Anne. Fire Chief Ken Dayment says the accident
Voting in the 2014 Municipal Elections is done. Polls have closed and returns are starting to come in. Follow along at ELECTIONS 2014
Wednesday's shootings on Parliament Hill have shocked Canadians across the country. A gunman shot and killed a soldier at the Canadian Wa
A woman from the Grunthal area says something very strange happened on her farm Wednesday morning. Bonita Friesen explains her husband wa
A former Steinbach resident who lives in Ottawa is stunned by the events in our capital city today. A gunman shot a soldier at the Canadia
Two weeks after being treated to a lunar eclipse, there will be a partial solar eclipse. Many people woke up early on the morning of Octo
There are reports of gunfire in Parliament this morning after a gunman shot a soldier at the Canadian War Memorial. Provencher MP Ted Falk
It's election day across southeastern Manitoba. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. as people will elect new mayors, reeves,
Steinbach RCMP are seeking the public's assistance in locating a stolen truck. A white 2006 Ford F-350 was stolen from a dealership in St
Hanover School Division has decided to increase the size of the track meant for the 2016 Power Smart Manitoba Summer Games at Steinba
A man from St. Malo is dead following a vehicle-pedestrian collision Tuesday night. RCMP say the incident happened around 9:30 p.m. on Hi
Steinbach city council gave final approval Tuesday to a By-Law for reduced speed zones at Woodlawn, Southwood and Stonybrook schools. Mayo
Manitoba auto dealers are on pace to set a record for new vehicle sales this year. Kent Ledingham of Steinbach is President of the Manitob
The Rural Municipality of La Broquerie will be saying good-bye to Reeve Claude Lussier as elections take place Wednesday evening and a new
Update - Tuesday, October 21 at 5pm - Four youths have been charged with Arson following a fire over the weekend at Grace Mennonite Churc
A beautiful angel dress lovingly made from a wedding gown. It's hard to know what to do for someone when tragedy strikes their lives. Bring
A man from Steinbach was involved in a crash Monday afternoon near Oak Lake, about fifty kilometres west of Brandon. The
Emergency crews were called to a single motorcycle accident at the intersection of the #216, turning on to the #52 Highway East Tuesday mo
Residents of the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie will now receive a rebate on a Jake Epp Library membership. Jake Epp Head Librarian L
Southeast Helping Hands received a school supplies donation from Staples in Steinbach valued at $3047.88. Staples Divisional Sales Manage
The good news is, Farm Credit Canada's annual “Drive Away Hunger” food drive was a great success, with over 74-thousand pounds of food
The two Reeve hopefuls in the Rural Municipality of Hanover have been going door-to-door the last number of weeks in anticipation of Wedne
The candidates for Mayor in the Town of Ste Anne, Richard Pelletier and incumbent Bernie Vermette, have been taking time speaking to resid
Trustee candidates have mixed reactions to a plan that would see grade nine students move from rural schools to the Steinbach Regional Sec
Emergency crews were called to a three-vehicle accident at Number Twelve Highway and Stone Bridge Crossing Monday afternoon.Lieutenant Tre
RCMP have released the photo of an individual wanted in connection with a theft at a convenience store in Steinbach last Wednesday, Oct. 1
RCMP dealt with a number of incidents in Steinbach during the weekend. Police say they stopped a motorist just after 2:30
When residents of the RM of Ste Anne go to vote for reeve, their options will be Rolland Sarrasin and incumbent Art Bergmann. The two can
The Kleefeld, New Bothwell and Grunthal fire departments took part in some joint training exercises over the weekend. It was the fi
The Hanover School Division is exploring the idea of no longer offering grade 9 in its schools in New Bothwell, Blumenort, Mitchell and Kl
Steinbach Mayor Chris Goertzen says the Cities Caucus of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities is continuing to press Ottawa to commi