Casper ski coach plans 24-hr run to help feed essential workers and first responders (PHOTOS) - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Casper ski coach plans 24-hr run to help feed essential workers and first responders (PHOTOS)

(Courtesy of Justin Kinner)

CASPER, Wyo. – Ultra-distance running is nothing new for Justin Kinner, head coach of the Casper Nordic Club ski team. Now he’s tackling another endurance feat to raise money for first responders and essential workers combatting the COVID-19 crisis.

Kinner has launched a Gofundme campaign called “Casper Frontline 24 Hour Run” with a goal of raising $7,500. The money raised will go to the “Feed the Front Line” campaign organized by Cory Poulos, proprietor of the catering venue Occasions by Cory.

(Courtesy of Justin Kinner)

“We saw the Feed the Front line campaign and decided to unite under the same banner,” Kinner said.  The campaign will provide meals to hospital workers, police officers, first responders, grocery and postal workers through the month of April.

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Kinner’s 24-hour run will begin at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning and loop through the network of dirt and asphalt trails around Casper. “The course will loop back by my house several times, where I’ll have an aid station set up,” Kinner said. “The hard part is going to be passing by my house and not going in to sleep.”

The idea came to him on a long run. “I’m always prone to helping people,” he said. Since completing the high school nordic ski season, which ended in February, Kinner has been working at his sister Jennifer Frontiero’s clinic, Complete Physical Therapy, helping clients with mobility and post-op therapy.

(Courtesy of Justin Kinner)

In addition to immediately supporting first responders, Kinner hopes the campaign will continue the clinic’s ongoing mission. “Running has given me so much, and I hope it inspires people to make lifestyle changes so they can be the best version of themselves.”

Sunlight and exercise have been shown to reduce stress and boost immune function and well-being. “I’ve seen more people out recreating since the pandemic than ever before,” Kinner said. “It’s really encouraging.”

(Courtesy of Justin Kinner)

Kinner’s Casper Frontline 24 Hour Run GoFundMe page, which has so far raised $1,400, states the following:

My name is Justin Kinner,  I am a resident of Casper, Wyoming with a desire to  help in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis that has flipped the world as we know it upside down.

The Casper Frontline 24 Hour Run is a rain/snow, or shine run I will be completing from 7:30 AM Friday April 10 to 7:30 AM on Saturday April 11, 2020.  All proceeds will be donated to our local professionals/first responders on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The run itself will also serve as a reminder to everyone that although “stay-at-home” orders are in place, you are still encouraged to get out your door to exercise as long as you are following proper social distancing guidelines. 

Exercise releases chemicals in our brains helping reduce stress, which in turn can increase your immunity.  There are a lot of opportunities in adversity to better yourselves. If this run accomplishes nothing besides inspiring you to become the best version of yourself in the face of such adversity then it will be successful, but helping those who help us is the ultimate win for which we strive in this effort.

Casper Frontline 24 Hour Run

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email:

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.