Granfondo teams with Branch Out

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The ATB GranFondo Highwood Pass event is using pedal power to combat neurological disorders thanks to a new partnership with the Branch Out Neurological Foundation.

The GranFondo Highwood Pass, organized by TransRockies Events, challenges road riders to a 135-kilometre course, climbing the highest paved road in Canada. The group announced Tuesday it is donating $5 from every race entry to the charity, and encouraging riders to donate more at the event.

“Branch Out does important work and we hope to help get the word out about this great organization,” said TransRockies Events president Aaron McConnell.

Branch Out funds top students and academics in the new field of neuroCAM, which combines neuroscience and complimentary and alternative modalities.

“There are more than 600 diseases of the nervous system that affect nearly 20 per cent of the world’s population. Whether we’re talking about post concussion, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis or Alzheimer’s, there’s a lot of work to do in understanding brain health, treatment and therapy,” said Crystal Phillips, executive director and co-founder of the Branch Out Neurological Foundation.

Phillips is a former high level speed skater whose life was changed after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Much of her recovery involved road biking, which forged a bond between the two organizations.

‘We want to support Branch Out to reach new heights. ATB Gran Fondo Highwood Pass moves through the highest pass in the Rocky Mountains and with road biking being a popular recovery sport, there is a strong symbolic and on the ground fit,” McConnell said.

The GranFondo is scheduled for July 9.

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