A RECORD 350 cyclists took to the Mulligan Highway in September to raise funds for cardiac services in Far North Queensland.
Celebrating its 10th year, the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge drew cyclists from around Australia and overseas for the epic bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the cyclists, supporters and volunteers travelled the 333km journey together, achieving a fundraising goal of $302,203.
“We’ve had great support from the police, especially when we closed the (Kuranda) range, as well as from the general motoring public who were very patient during the closure,” Ms Duncombe said.
The Foundation arranged for the up lane of the Kuranda Range to be closed for two hours on the Saturday morning, enabling 200 cyclists to ride the range. In fact, the range was able to be opened earlier than the permit required. “We expected to have it shut from 6am to 8.45am but we had it open again at 7.30am,” she said.
The top fundraising team was Cairns Hardware who raised almost $20,000, followed by SixPack and Cairns Regional Council Cruisers.
Top individual fundraiser was Matt Rippin who raised more than $9000, followed by Tony Nastasi and Bronwyn Reid.