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THE 2015 Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge has been hailed as another tremendous success, generating more than $240,000 for cardiac services in the Far North.
More than 270 cyclists took part in the annual fundraiser, an increase on 2014’s numbers.
A new development that was particularly popular with cyclists, was the partial closure of Kuranda Range for the first day.
163 keen cyclists took on the Range in safety - traffic going to the Tableland was permitted, but traffic travelling down towards Cairns was held at Rainforestation.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said it was very pleasing to see only eight vehicles waiting at the top of the Range for the cyclists.
“We learnt alot from the closure which worked really well - we got the cyclists off the Range well before the permit specified, and we found great support from the community, that recognises we are fundraising for life-saving services and equipment,” Ms Duncombe said.
In 2014, the Challenge had to start from Kuranda, due to the relatively new “one-metre” traffic legislation.
Cyclists and the supporters and volunteers stopped the first night at Mt Carbine, and the second at Lakeland, receiving warm welcomes from the local community.
The most successful fundraising team of the event was new team, Wuchopperen Warriors, who raised $17,234. They were followed by Cardiac Maniacs on $10,592 and We are Family at $9253. Highest individual fundraisers were Vlad Matic of the Wuchopperen Warriors team at $6800, AJ Larkin at $3151 and Jonah Tuhoro at $3000.
Cyclists were welcomed into Cooktown by mayor Peter Scott, who paid tribute to the hard work and sacrifices they had made, for such an amazing cause.
Cairns Hospital cardiology director Dr Greg Starmer did not participate this year, instead playing “Daddy Daycare” while wife and ED doctor Katrina Starmer took part for the first time. However Dr Greg Starmer did provide an excellent presentation at the presentation dinner on the final night in Cooktown.
Excitement is already building for the 10th anniversary event in 2016.