Marathon hockey match reaches midway point
Published Friday, May 9, 2014 2:23PM MDT Last Updated Friday, May 9, 2014 5:42PM MDT
The Hockey Marathon For the Kids is underway at the rec centre in Chestermere and organizers are hoping to raise $2M for children’s charities.
The marathon match started on May 4 and goes until the 14th and the players will try to stay on the ice for more than 246 hours to break the record for the world’s longest hockey game.
The World record was set by team Oilympics in Chestermere in May 2012.
So far the players have raised almost $800,000 on the way to their $2M goal.
Terry Ferguson is playing in his second marathon game and says they flood the ice every four to six hours but it is getting pretty chewed up.
“Oh it’s falling apart pretty good, especially after the flood, it’s pretty wet,” said Ferguson. “Right now, you don’t want sharp skates, I’d say, because it’s soft. The creases are getting pretty bad.”
The players are on their feet the whole time and have a skate professional on hand to ease the pain.
“The guy that’s been coming actually, I think the biggest thing he’s been doing for the boys is punching out their skates. Where their feet are sore, he brought a press and a heater, so he’s heating them up and knocking out their toes and things like that so that they have room,” said Ferguson.
“My feet right now are about a size bigger that what they normally are so they’re starting to swell up,” said Alex Halet.
Ferguson says even though it’s his second time, it’s not something you can prepare for. “Everything changes so fast. You meet different kids with different stories and it’s really not the physical thing. Everyone can do the physical thing, it’s the mental and emotional thing that’s the biggest challenge.”
The players say they are motivated by all the support from family and fans.
“Fans have been coming out and they’re keeping us going,” said Ferguson.
“It’s been overwhelming. We’re ahead of last game, year-to day, so the donations are piling in, online they’re piling in. Folks coming in from everywhere,” said Halet. “It’s been surreal. For these guys, they’re keeping them going for sure.”
‘It’s been super fun. When the kids come and flash mobs come and the pace of the game picks up, the energy picks up and seeing family and familiar faces makes it all worthwhile,” said player, Brett Butterwick.
40 players on Team Hope and Team Cure are rotating play on the ice and are supported by an army of 800 volunteers.
“This event was not intended just for 40 guys. It was intended for a whole community to get involved,” said Halet. “It’s a great thing to make everyone part of this event. From children at the age of four right up to senior citizens.”
A benefit concert is taking place on Friday night at the Chestermere Rec Centre in conjunction with the marathon.
Proceeds from all the events goes to the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Southern Alberta Flood Relief and Samuel’s Ride For Rescue.
For more information, click HERE.
(With files from Kevin Fleming)