Ped­alling to fight can­cer

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STEWART ni­cola.stewart@wrcn.co.nz

Fam­ily, friends and Face­book have helped two Mata­mata cy­clists raise up­wards of $6500 for can­cer re­search.

Denise Hamil­ton, 51, and Den­nis Walsh, 64, are set to cy­cle 200km over two days in the Ride to Con­quer Can­cer.

The ride starts at Eller­slie Rac­ing Club on Novem­ber 16 and ends at the Pukekohe Show­grounds the fol­low­ing day, with en­trants camp­ing overnight.

Pro­ceeds from the ride will help to fund im­por­tant re­search at the Can­cer So­ci­ety Re­search Cen­tre in Auck­land.

Ms Hamil­ton and Mr Walsh en­tered the ride sep­a­rately and met by chance last week while out train­ing.

With a fundrais­ing min­i­mum of $2500 needed to en­ter the ride they have both been busy com­ing up with the cash.

‘‘My daugh­ter shared it on Face­book and it just took off from there,’’ said Ms Hamil­ton.

Spon­sors came

flood­ing

in and with pro­ceeds from a Hin­uera Te Poi Li­ons pa­per drive top­ping up the fund, her ef­forts came in at ex­actly $2500.

Mr Walsh also turned to so­cial net­work­ing and email to ask for sup­port and was stunned by the re­sponse.

With a month to go, he has col­lected an as­ton­ish­ing $4300 and is now aim­ing to hit $5000.

A new­comer to cy­cling, he en­tered the ride to sup­port his older brother Barry, who is in the midst of treat­ment liver can­cer.

‘‘I’m very con­fi­dent of day one . . . day two might be a lit­tle bit harder but I’m go­ing to fin­ish I’ll tell you that now,’’ said Mr Walsh.

Ms Hamil­ton has a touch more ex­pe­ri­ence, hav­ing com­peted in seven Taupo Cy­cle Chal­lenges – a gru­elling 160km race.

‘‘I think the hard­est part is the train­ing,’’ she said.

‘‘Peo­ple al­ways say get­ting to the start­ing line is harder

for than line.’’

A month out from the event, the Mata­mata Ped­dlers mem­ber is train­ing five times a week and rides from 50 to 70km each time.

Mr Walsh has also been rid­ing around Mata­mata with his wife Maria, cy­cling 40 to 50km ev­ery sec­ond day plus an 80km ride once a week.

Overnight sport­ing events are noth­ing new for Ms Hamil­ton, who en­tered the Oxfam Trail­walker with three friends in April this year.

The team had to walk 100km around Lake Taupo in less than 36 hours.

‘‘It was the most life chang­ing, team build­ing, foot slog­ging, friend­ship form­ing, group hug­ging ex­pe­ri­ence ever,’’ said Ms Hamil­ton.

Al­ways up for a chal­lenge, she once en­tered the Taupo Half Marathon, Taupo Cy­cle Chal­lenge, Taupo Triathlon, Swim across Lake Taupo, and the New Zealand Iron­man all within a six month pe­riod.

To make a dona­tion, go to con­quer­cancer.org.nz.

get­ting

to

the

fin­ish

Com­mit­ted: Denise Hamil­ton and Den­nis Walsh of Mata­mata are in train­ing for the Ride to Con­quer Can­cer.

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