Hardware team rises to challenge

5/09/2016

WORKING together as a team is what motivates the Cairns Hardware Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge team.

The group of 21, most of whom work for the hardware business, are new to cycling, but very excited to take on the three-day cycling adventure to Cooktown later this month.

Team captain Michael Etherington said he and colleague Andrew Bell had ridden the event before and both felt their colleagues would get a lot out of training and fundraising for the event.

“We just asked if anyone was keen to do it, and suddenly it was bigger than Ben Hur,” Mr Etherington said. “Many of the team know someone or has a family member with a heart  condition so it’s a big motivation – most of them are not avid cyclists by nature,” he said.

The Cairns Hardware team is currently number four on the fundraising team ladder, sitting at just over $9000.

“Riding together on weekends has actually been awesome for us all – because we work in such diverse fields within the business that we’ve gained a great understanding of what we all do.

“Most of them are very new to cycling – some of them would have struggled to ride around the block before, but we ride every weekend together now, we motivate and help each other. We’ve seen people grow tremendously in confidence and skill since we first started.”

The group started off doing easy 20km or 30km rides but are now happy to do 60km or even 90km rides together.

“I think the majority of us will keep riding together after the event, we’re so excited about it now we can’t wait. We know it’s not a race, we just can’t wait to ride into Cooktown together.”

The group paid tribute to Barnacle Bill's Restaurant, The Chamber Room coffee shop and Irelands Group for their generous donations.

The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is in its 10th year in 2016. This year’s event is the biggest of those 10, with 350 riders registered, along with volunteers and supporters.

Cyclists depart Cairns on Saturday, September 17 with some opting to take advantage of a partial closure of Kuranda Range. The group arrives in Cooktown en masse about lunchtime on Monday, September 19.

The event has raised more than $2.2 million for cardiac services in the Far North since inception and organisers hope to raise $350,000 this year.

For further information or to donate, visit Cardiac Challenge.

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