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