The 8th Annual Hike for Hospice is coming up this weekend in Okotoks.

Each year, locals hit the trails and raise money for the Foothills Country Hospice to support the end-of-life care they provide.

It’s being held this Sunday, May 5, at Ethel Tucker Park, and the official title of this year’s event is the “2024 Hike for Hospice Hustle.” 

That’s because, along with the usual 2k and 5k walk, the hospice has added a 5k run.

Robyn Alford, communications associate with the hospice, says it just made sense to open things up to a wider variety of athletes.

“We were doing a little analysis, and there is no official 5k run in Okotoks. We thought ‘There’s plenty of runners around town, maybe they’d like to come out and run for a cause. It’s also a great way to get prepped for the season, it’s right at the beginning of May and the pathways are going to be along the Sheep River, so it’s a relatively easy course. For those just getting into running, it’s a great opportunity, or those just warming up for their running season.”

The route is also wheelchair and stroller-friendly, and participants are welcome to bring their dogs on leashes.

There will also be plenty more to see and do for those not looking to hit the pathways.

“It’ll be kind of a little festival zone, we’ll have food trucks, face painting, a caricature artist, bracelet making, all sorts of fun events for the day,” says Alford.

It’s the hospice’s second-biggest fundraiser of the year, with a goal of $60,000 this year.

The Foothills Country Hospice must fundraise 43 per cent of its annual operating costs, including patient care and bereavement services.

The event kicks off at 10 a.m. with the races starting at 11. 

Family-friendly activities will be on-site until 2 p.m.

More information is available on the hospice’s website.