We’ve been cheering for Kristy throughout her preparation for the Ride to Cure Conquer Cancer that took place in October. We checked in again with Kristy, following her inspirational achievement to get over the finish line and asked her a few questions about her experience.
What was the event?
KW: The MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer is a 200km, two-day cycling event that raises vital funds for cancer research at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
How would you describe your experience?
KW: The event was one of the toughest, but also the most inspiring and rewarding things that I have ever done in my life. I definitely underestimated the challenges involved with spending over 6 hours a day in the saddle and spent a large part of the first day kicking myself for being under prepared with no waterproof jacket, chaff cream, gel seat or phone charger to keep the music going. I was lucky enough to be invited to ride along with our client, Quadrant Energy, so it was great to have that extra encouragement, support and motivation along the way, as well as all of the volunteers cheering us on at the pit stops.
How did you feel on your first day of the ride?
We rode from Perth at 6.30am on the Saturday guns blazing, from the city out towards Armadale through some nasty hills past Serpentine and finished up in Mandurah to camp overnight in the worst weather conditions. By the time I arrived back to camp, I never wanted to look at my bike again, but the speeches and ceremony that night cemented why we were all there and what a difference the money raised could make. The CEO, some survivors, and lead researcher for the Harry Perkins Institute gave some really heartfelt speeches, talking about where the funding was going and it was such a great feeling sitting there in a tent filled with over 800 new friends all brought together and rallying for the common cause.
Did you ever want to back down? If so, what kept you going?
There were times over the weekend when I really questioned why the hell I decided to ride 200kms in the blistering cold, getting soaked by the terrible weather and pelted with gale force winds, then I would see one of the yellow flags on a bike indicating that the person riding was either currently fighting or had survived cancer and which was so motivating and a massive inspiration for me to toughen up and keep on going, like these guys, fighting the real fight.
If day two wasn’t already looking tough, we heard mother nature continued to throw a few curve balls your way? How did you cope?
The second day was the worst weather conditions possible for bike riding but feeling motivated and energised we headed back along the coast through Rockingham, where I nearly got blown off my bike at one point the onshore winds were so fierce. We travelled along the coast via Kwinana, Cockburn beach and back along the river near Applecross- crossing the finish line and being surprised by my parents was one of the best feelings. My mum was my main inspiration for completing the ride as she had battled cancer last year, so seeing them cheering me on and looking so proud of me coming through the finish line was a really special moment.
What is the impact of the ride for cancer research?
Since the first Ride in 2011, Perth riders and their supporters have raised over $27.5 million to sustain important research for community health. I was really lucky to have plenty of support from family, friends, and work and managed to raise $6,400 in donations which will go towards several life-saving cancer research programs which include breast, prostate, melanoma, colon, head and neck and liver at The Perkins Institute.
Any final words?
Thanks everyone for your support and for following my journey and it’s not too late to make a last minute donation.
Congratulations Kristy. The WFR team is proud of you!