Saturday, October 18, 2014

The 200km Ride To Conquer Cancer... Conquered. It was the Best Weekend of my life!

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As many of you know, I've been preparing for this bike ride. And I'm glad to announce... formally, well, on this blog, that only 2 months after I was done with chemo, I managed to complete the Sydney 200km Ride to Conquer Cancer!

I was scared about it for months... But when I arrived at the start-line... just seeing so many people there who wanna beat this thing, hearing them encourage each-other on, and just immersing myself in the positive atmosphere took away all that fear.

I was pumped. And the ride's excellent logistics, the crowds cheering us on throughout the ride, the other riders urging eachother up the hill and the people who approached me, telling me my speech brought TEARS to their eyes; that they were riding for ME... that kept me going.

And I made it =]

It was honestly, the best weekend of my life. Being cheered on every few kilometers on the track... inspiring and being inspired by so many other riders all there for the same thing... getting to hear from and talk to and help others who have family, friends, or have suffered themselves from this horrible disease... What more could I want from a weekend. 

Everyone felt the same way. Whether it be on the ride, where everyone somehow had a smile on their face, despite the pain their legs and behinds were going through... Or at camp, where we'd rest and cheer the other riders as they shared they stories... Or at the finish line, where everyone, not matter how much suffering they were going through, would stand up and cheer the last rider on.

Everyone felt the same joy, the same feeling of accomplishment. 

And it was because of riders like us that the Chris O' Brien Lifehouse received $3.6million from the collected fundraising of 905 riders. 
And I remembered how every time I'd hear about a fundraising event, or a new breakthrough coming through to fix cancer while in treatment... I'd get a smile on my face. Not only did we raise a huge amount that may just change the outcomes of millions of patients in the future, the fact that we were all there to show our support put a smile on EVERY cancer patient's face.

And That's AMAZING. 


This was my speech to start the event: 


My training schedule and the ride itself:
It wasn't as hard as you'd think!

The ride was daunting. The number, 200 (120miles) - terrifying to me before it. But with a few months of gradual build up - the day actually wasn't too bad. 

I mean the nutrition we were supplied with, and that I brought on the day itself (and my preparation), made the first 80kms of each day not too hard to keep pumping. Except for the hills... where everyone's encouragment and the crowds along the ride kept you going!

We did 100kms on the first day, camped out overnight, and did 112kms on the second. Everything was provided for - no worries there! And it cost only $50 to register. Honestly - just to have that experience itself would have set us back a few hundred bucks. It was very well run!

What I ate the day before: I followed the pro's, and general marathon advice. I had wholemeal pasta, with lean meats and a regular-spicy sauce (to taste) of course =P 
During the ride, the regular pitt-stops, every 20 - 30kms at the start, and every 10kms towards the ends of both days, had Shotz tablets; the brand of electrolyte the pros on the Tour De France drink (at $4 a pop, with multiple bottles drank on each day - that itself helped us keep going). We had protein bars there too, as well as lunch on both days - a good, carb-rich, lean meat packed wrap or sandwich (with vegetarian options also catered for of course). 
At camp, we had pasta with some very nice sauces too. And we had massages provided, as well as family and some amazing speeches to sooth our sore muscles too. It was great, and by the next morning, I was repumped to ride again! 

The training up to this ride was also great - because I built up slowly. As I said in my video - I could only hit 5minutes on the EXERCISE bike when I started, I was that tired from all the chemo. But over the period of 4 months, I managed to get up to doing 50kms comfortably. And when I went out and rode - the adrenalin, the amazing atmosphere and the expert, well rationed nutrition - that took over. And I did it. As did many others who were nervous about it too - including a 70 year old lady I was talking to who had a partner, the same age, who had passed even dad and I! 

And training for next year will be even better! Because I've managed to recruit mates to do it with me! And I invite you to join me - feel free to reach out and train with me - or get your own group of friends, colleagues or family and get out there and help conquer cancer too! 


Sign up for the ride, wherever you're from, today. If there isn't one in your country/state - don't worry. Because this thing is spreading faster than cancer ever could! So keep your eyes open! 
Australia: http://www.conquercancer.org.au/index.html
Canada: http://www.conquercancer.ca/index.html
The US: http://www.cyclingacrossamerica.com/event/the-ride-to-conquer-cancer/
Auckland: http://www.conquercancer.org.nz/

The facebook page for the blog: www.facebook.com/musingsofamedstudentpatient

My other recent talks:

The Leukaemia Foundation Light The Night Talk I gave:

My speech about My Story, and How what I learnt can help YOU guys achieve what you wanna achieve!

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