On Wednesday, November 23 Booktalks, a St. Mary’s University Student Association club welcomed keynote speaker, author, five-time Guinness World Record holder and world class athlete Martin Parnell to campus to discuss his books Marathon Quest and Running to the Edge.

Created by St. Mary’s University student Jaden Baragar, Booktalks provided the perfect platform for Parnell to share some of his remarkable tales and describe his seemingly unimaginable feats. Parnell’s visit marks the 5th Booktalks event having partnered in the past with JoAnne Sieppert, Valerie Walker and the Classical Guitar Society of Calgary.

“I decided to invite Martin to St. Mary’s to host a BookTalks event after having read an article about him in the paper,” explained Baragar. “Martin developed a blood clot I the brain and was just being able to read and watch television and couldn’t drive, swim or bike at all after running his 250 marathons a year.”


On top his record setting athletic endeavors Parnell has also become just as renowned for his philanthropic initiatives, raising funds for Right to Play during his various marathons.
Parnell’s Booktalks event was quite the success, with lots of discussion generated by the St. Mary’s community and others who were in attendance.

Twenty five per cent of proceeds from the vent went to the Humanities 101 program at St. Mary’s University which is a program that gives university level courses to low-income adults who have suffered in the past from hardships such as poverty, immigration, abuse (substance or physical) or other barriers that have prevented them from accessing post-secondary education.

“I love to host BookTalks events to raise money for the Humanities 101 program because I know how meaningful the program is to those individuals who have had previously had negative experiences with education,” said Baragar.

The next Booktalks event will be held on Wednesday, December 7 at 7 p.m. in McGivney Hall on the St. Mary’s campus and will once again feature the Classical Guitar Society who will play Christmas tunes for those in attendance. Entrance will be upon donation with all proceeds going directly to the Humanities 101 program.