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Hockey Marathon players pass 100 hours in their quest to set a world record


They're not quite halfway to their goal of playing ice hockey for 262 hours and the players are feeling it in a Chestermere, Alta., hockey arena.

Mitchell McAllister is a first time marathon player and wears jersey number 61.

"To put it really nicely you can't prepare to get hit by a bus," he said. "It's a really cool experience and unfortunately yeah, you just you don't prepare, you have no idea what is (happening to your body)."

McAllister says like all the players, his feet hurt the most. At more than five days into the 11 day game, he and the other players are always happy to see people come to watch.

"I'll tell you what keeps us going is seeing the fans," he said. "Seeing the community in here and seeing the kids come in here and it really it fills the tank."

McAllister celebrated his 30th birthday on May 7th and his mom Lisa was there to see him bright and early to celebrate.

"We were here at seven in the morning with signs over here when he came out and then that night we did bring in steak and potatoes, he deserved it," she said. "We make a point of coming every day just to see him and bring a poster and lots of people have been coming by so it's been good."


Alex Halat has organized and played in all the marathon games including the first one in 2012, which raised $1,200,000 for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and set a Guinness World Record by playing 246 hours of hockey.

Halat remembers the challenges they faced off the ice when on breaks.

"We slept in the curling rink and had a massive hot tub in there," he said.

"Everyone got bronchitis the first year," he said, "so we decided to open up the doors, so we open up the doors not thinking all the mice and skunks would come in -- so then we thought, 'we'll put plywood on the bottom of the doors!'

"The next thing (you know)," he says, "we're sleeping with bats in the room."

44 players are trying to set a world record for the longest hockey game in Chestermere.

Halat says this is the first year two women have signed up to play in the marathon game.

"It's awesome," he said. "We've tried over the last couple of years to do it and to have the girls now involved in the game is phenomenal, I would see as a morale booster boys that are playing."


The players use the world record attempt as a fundraiser for the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, raising millions of dollars.

"The money raised from Hockey Marathon goes specifically to a pediatric cancer team and goes to some of our programs, including research and clinical trials," said Liz Ballendine, the foundation's VP of development. "This event has raised not only community spirit, and the spirits of the kids and families fighting cancer, but it's also raised a lot of awareness for the work that we do."

Ballendine has been to every one of the record breaking events in 2012, 2014, 2022 and now 2024 and she's glad the foundation benefits from it.

"They always say we'll never do it again and then they come back and do it again," she said. "They are amazing, they should be wearing capes not hockey gear and we're so pleased that they're here in our corner doing this for the kids and families, it is amazing."

Becca Morrison is one of the 2,000 plus volunteers that make the 11-day event run smoothly. She's in her second of four shifts as a 'bench liason', making sure players stay hydrated and fed.

"I get to run back and forth and get food for the guys, drinks, water," she said. "If we need to book medical appointments for massage, chyro, physio, anything like that, it's lots of fun."

Lesley Plumley is the event director who is pretty much in charge of everything off the ice. She has to be quick to react when a volunteer has to cancel a shift and puts out a public plea.

"We found that social media was better than us putting it out on our website," she said. "So when the spot is filled, then we were able to say hey, thank you so much, we got the spot filled."

Plumley is also focused on making sure the players are entertained throughout their time of the ice when they could be struggling physically and mentally.

"What people don't understand is after day three and a half they start losing a little bit of the testosterone and we need to make sure their mental health is well looked after," she said. "If anybody has the opportunity to come (to the rink) whether they're cheerleaders, dance troops, any kind of entertainment (would be appreciated)."

She tries to accommodate some of the player requests when she can.

"One of the guys, he's asking for fainting goats, he's like that is entertaining for us," she laughs. "I'm like, I'm not bringing in fainting goats."

The Hockey Marathon began April 5th and will be played until the 16th at the Chestermere Recreation Centre and spectators are always welcome.

"This is a great way to get the community and not just the Chestermere community," she said. "But the surrounding communities including Calgary involved in something that's way bigger than what we actually are."

Learn more about the marathon here:

To watch the livestream, go here. Top Stories

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