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Saskatoon family aims to set personal cycling records in cancer fundraiser

Erin McFarland has been an avid cyclist for over a decade. And for the last 8 years, she’s been participating in the Great Cycle Challenge Canada.

The fundraiser supports the SickKids Foundation and its efforts to improve cancer treatment.

“I really love biking,” McFarland told CTV News. “And eight years ago, I saw posts online that invited me to join this cause. I didn’t hesitate, I joined because of my love of biking and that I wanted to help the kids.”

McFarland has been registered since January, and she will raise money until the end of the event. For the month of August, she’ll record her total distance travelled on the bike.

So far she’s cycled over 5,000 kilometres and raised more than $20,000 in her seven previous years.

And while all the money raised will go to the same good cause, McFarland has her eye on the leaderboard for some friendly competition.

“In Saskatchewan, last year I was the fifth fundraiser,” said McFarland. “And the year before I was third. So I’m aiming for that goal again this year.”

For the last six years, she’s gotten her nephew involved. He now hopes to inspire his peers to join the cause.

“She first told me about it and I thought about it for a bit,” said Ryan Douglas. “And then I thought, if I would join, I could inspire other kids to join as well.”

Douglas has been putting posters up in his school encouraging other students to join. He’s also setting big goals for distance and money raised this year.

“At least 500 [kilometres], maybe more,” he said. “And for fundraising, I want to try getting over a thousand.”

The event website schedules group rides where participants can meet and log their kilometres together.

But for McFarland and Douglas, they have their favourite spots around town to ride.

“I really like it by the river,” said Douglas.

“I really love the river ride too,” Mcfarland said. “I usually bike the bridges, but around here, I really like the Hyde Park and Donna Berkmaier Park to ride.”

SickKids Foundation was created in 1972 and is the largest charity funder of children’s healthcare research, learning and care in Canada.

The Great Cycle Challenge Canada has raised more than $39 million since 2016, with participants from across the country riding more than 20.1 million kilometres. Top Stories

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