Cy­clists raise money for can­cer re­search

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Philippe Co­querand­

MORE than 50 cy­clists stopped over in Mun­dub­bera at the week­end dur­ing the an­nual Smile for Smiddy Challenge.

The event is held in me­mory of Adam Smiddy, who died in 2006 from melanoma at the age of


The gru­elling 1600km ride takes en­trants from Townsville to Bris­bane.

Founder Mark Smoothy said the ride was quite chal­leng­ing as they cov­ered more than 200km ev­ery day.

“Ini­tially it was quite chal­leng­ing as it was just the three of us in 2006 who had back­packs and from there it has grown to be a huge event,” Mr Smoothy said.

“It’s 200km ev­ery day, it’s men­tal and phys­i­cal tor­ture, but if you look at a can­cer pa­tient and how much pain they have to go through all of their lives, I fig­ured if we do ridicu­lous dis­tances, peo­ple will do­nate more.

“The harder the course and the longer the dis­tance, it makes it eas­ier for peo­ple to do­nate.”

Since its in­cep­tion in 2006, the Smiddy Challenge has raised al­most $9 mil­lion for can­cer re­search.

The event this year raised more than $200,000 and Mr Smoothy was im­pressed with how much sup­port they re­ceived.

“Per­son­ally I love how it keeps my mate’s name alive,” he said.

“A small amount of peo­ple knew Adam and now ev­ery­where you go they know his story and who he was.

“I’m up­set I lost my mate but re­ally proud his le­gacy lives on through his pass­ing.”

Mater Foun­da­tion ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of fundrais­ing Les­ley Ray said the event raised money for can­cer as it was the lead­ing cause of death in Aus­tralians.

“While Smiling for Smiddy started out as an event in hon­our of Adam Smiddy and it still does to­day, peo­ple joined the cy­cle who didn’t have any con­nec­tion to Adam but they’ve had a can­cer con­nec­tion,” Mrs Ray said.

“It’s typ­i­cally done to re­mem­ber some­one or as a way of sup­port­ing some­one who’s go­ing through can­cer treat­ment or they want to do some­thing be­cause they can.”

Mrs Ray said the com­mu­nity sup­port had been sim­ply in­cred­i­ble.

“Small com­mu­ni­ties have this in­cred­i­ble way of ral­ly­ing to­gether and it’s a won­der­ful gen­eros­ity that comes through the towns,” she said.

The cy­clists made it to Bris­bane on Sun­day af­ter­noon and are look­ing for­ward to do­ing it all again next year.

❝ I’m up­set I lost my mate but re­ally proud his le­gacy lives on through his pass­ing. — Mark Smoothy


CY­CLISTS IN AC­TION: The 50 cy­clists call into Mun­dub­bera on their way to Bris­bane.

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