With Fitz’s Challenge just a few short days away the excitement of the riders testing their capabilities and pushing themselves to their limits is building.
But it is worth remembering also, that many of the riders are participating in the challenge for very personal reasons and a very worthwhile cause…
As in previous years the official beneficiary charity of the event is The Kids’ Cancer Project; an Australian charity dedicated to finding cures for childhood cancers with the lowest survival rates. Almost half of children with these types of cancer lose their battle. The Kids’ Cancer Project is determined to improve outcomes for children with cancer by funding Australia’s best childhood cancer researchers.
Pedal Power member and Fitz’s Challenge regular Leigh Furlonger said: “Like a lot of cyclists in Canberra, I do Fitz’s most years (since I’ve been in Canberra, that is). It’s a fantastic challenge and it tests your fitness, strength and endurance. Having done other mountain orientated events (such as the Hartley and various Alpine challenges) I can also confirm that it’s one of the toughest on offer here in Australia.
“My reason for doing Fitz’s last year (and this year) in particular is a little more personal however. I had a friend who was also a passionate rider, who died of cancer (melanoma) in January 2013. The 50km Fitz’s event was the last ride he did with me and another two friends before he died, so we like to do that event now in memory of him and in support of the The Kids’ Cancer Project – there’s a ‘rightness’ in this somehow.”
Fellow Challenger and fundraiser Wayne Baird also shared his reasons for taking part this year: “In March this year we got an email from a close friend informing us that their nine year old son had just been diagnosed with cancer. Apart from the great sadness and helplessness we felt as a family we could only give our thoughts of wishes for the best.
“I was sent the Fitz’s Challenge page link and thought – there is something else I can do for Aiden and other children and their families to assist. I will ride the 105km Tharwa leg of the Fitz’s Challenge, so please assist me to assist them – any donation would be much appreciated.”
A spokesperson for The Kids’ Cancer Project added:
“Three Australian children die from cancer each year but cures are within our grasp. We hope the challenge of kids suffering from cancer will inspire you whilst cycling and in your fundraising. There is still time to set up a fundraising page, or donate to one of over fifty fundraisers taking part in this event – just go to the link at: http://curekidscancer.org.au/event/fitzs2014.”’
This year’s Fitz’s Challenge takes place on 26th October, starting at Stromlo Forest Park.
Registrations are still open with discounted entry fees up until 24th October. You can find full details, plus an online registration form at: www.fitzs.com.au
(Pedal Power ACT Media Release)