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‘Pretty amazing!’: Calgary couple running 50 half-marathons to raise money for food bank

A couple of caring Calgarians are marking a major moment in their lives by tackling a pretty daunting challenge and they’re doing it to bring a big boost for those who are struggling with the cost of living.

Doug Lavoie came up with the idea as he approached a milestone birthday.

“I’m turning 50 this month,” Lavoie said, “And I decided, well, what would be a great idea for my version of a midlife crisis.”

So he went to his husband, Paul Lavoie, with an idea.

“Why don’t we do 50 half-marathons in 50 weeks for my 50th,” Doug Lavoie explained.

It soon became a weekly routine, with the Lavoies deciding to use their running to raise money for a favourite charity.

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“We both really believe in the Calgary Food Bank,” Doug Lavoie said. “We’re all effected by increasing food prices.”

The two men set out to raise $50K.

“There are so many people in need,” Paul Lavoie said.

After reaching and surpassing their initial goal, the Lavoies set a new one.

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“We were like, let’s try for $100,000,” Doug Lavoie said. “Now, today, I think we’re at $106,000 raised for the food bank.”

It’s a donation that’s much-appreciated by the Calgary Food Bank.

“It couldn’t come at a better time – we’ve never been busier,” said Melissa From, Calgary Food Bank CEO. “And so Paul and Doug making a contribution of that magnitude, that’s pretty unique – it’s pretty amazing!’

Anyone wishing to donate can do so through  #The5040 on

Doug Lavoie’s 50th birthday is on Sunday, Sept 24, with a wrap-up celebration planned that day in Calgary’s Eau Claire area.

“We’re going to do a big friends and family walk,” Doug Lavoie said. “and it’s (open to) anyone and everyone who wants to join just comes on down.”

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And once they’ve crossed the final finish line, how does he plan to celebrate that big birthday?

“Soak my feet,” Doug Lavoie said with a laugh. “Lots of soaking of the feet.”

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