Randy’s Riders didn’t let the smoke get them down at this year’s Ride to Conquer Cancer.
While the 10th annual Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer was cancelled part way through due to air quality on Aug. 18, team captain Thomas Curry said that didn’t stop the group from having a great time.
“Everybody was excited for the ride,” he said.
The team raised $45,000 this year, and had the second highest amount of donations by a team in Alberta.
The event was the first time this year Randy’s Riders had been together as a group, as some members weren’t close enough to participate in the weekly training sessions in Cold Lake. Curry noted, it was great to have everyone together.
While they weren’t able to finish the race, it was important for them to cross as a team.
“At the end, we stop at a place before, gather our team together, and make sure that we cross the finish line as a team,” he said.
Before the ride was cancelled, everyone gathered on the Saturday morning.
“The organizers put on quite an event,” he expressed. “They had a great breakfast for us, and a great opening ceremony. They had a big screen at the starting gate, and the organizers had a couple of survivor stories at the beginning of the ride.”
First time rider, Teagan Densmore, said the smoke was bad, but it didn’t take away from being a part of the ride.
“It was a fun, new experience,” he said. “It was a really positive attitude, even when the smoke got bad. Everybody was still riding through it.”
He plans to participate in Randy’s Riders again next year, and said being able to ride alongside his family and friends made the experience even more memorable.
Enbridge closely monitored the air quality throughout the morning of the race.
According to Curry “there was quite a bit of smoke at the beginning.”
Over 1,800 riders were registered this year, and many were told the race was nixed shortly after they had started.
“We were about 40 kilometres out at the second pit stop, they have a stop every 20 kilometres where all the riders can stop and have a snack, visit with one another, or get medical attention if needed… That was when they announced the ride would be cancelled,” he said.
Members of the team plan on training over the winter, and hope to organize fundraisers over the next year in preparation for the 2019 ride.
“We’ll come back bigger and better than ever, like we do every year,” expressed Curry. “We’ll try to raise more money, and appreciate our community’s support.”
Altogether, the ride raised over $8-million, funding that will go towards cancer research.
Anyone interested in joining Randy’s Riders can find their social media page, or email Curry at firstname.lastname@example.org.