Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence


January 25, 2007 12:45 ET

Soldier and Canadian Ultrarunner Goes the Distance to Raise Awareness for New Program

17 WING WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 25, 2007) - Canadian Forces member and Canada's male Ultrarunner of the year, Sergeant Andrew McLean, departs for a challenging international, 740-kilometer race to raise awareness for the Canadian Paralympic Committee's (CPC) Soldier On program.

CPC is working closely with the CF to have the Soldier On program help to rehabilitate injured soldiers through sports. Sgt McLean learned about the program while searching for a cause to dedicate his Yukon Artic Ultra to.

"I would like to do my part to help injured soldiers get back in the game - running, biking, skiing, whatever it is they want to do," says Sgt Andrew McLean. "These soldiers are young and have full lives ahead."

"The primary area of interest is to help injured Canadians, and injured soldiers, become involved in sport, as a proven way of rehabilitation," says CPC president Carla Qualtrough. "We see it as an ideal way of promoting Paralympic Sport in Canada. Our aim is to develop a sport system for people with disabilities, including soldiers, that encourages participation at all levels, from recreational to high performance."

Since Sgt McLean has become involved in Soldier On, others across the CF have offered their support by organizing fundraising initiatives, such as a rock concert, a dinner, and a dive-a-thon.

Sgt Andrew McLean is one of two Canadians to enter the Yukon Arctic Ultra's 460-mile event. With only 13 days to complete the trek through the Arctic, that is nearly 18 full marathons. As the current Canadian male ultrarunner of the year, and Canada's fastest 100-mile marathon runner in 2005, training has become a lifestyle for the world-class athlete.

McLean will benefit from the broad range of Arctic skills and experience that he has honed as a Search and Rescue Technician in the Canadian Forces. Serving at 17 Wing Winnipeg, his Squadron's area of responsibility for search and rescue includes much of Canada's artic.

Media wishing to interview Sgt. McLean are asked to contact 2nd Lieutenant Angela Court at (204) 227-3439, or arrive at 17 Wing Winnipeg's Whytewold gate between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, 27 January, 2007.

The 17 Wing photo gallery is available at:

Contact Information

  • 2nd Lieutenant Angela Court
    During working hours:
    204-833-2500 extension 6499
    After hours: 204-227-3439