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The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation's Ride to Conquer Cancer celebrated three years on June 12 and 13, and while there were no candles, there was certainly a lot to celebrate.
With a record 4,108 participants, the Toronto ride raised a staggering $16.1 million. In three years, The ride welcomed 15,381 riders cross the finish line and raised $65.4 million for the Campbell Family Research Institute at The Princess Margaret, one of the top five cancer research centres in the world.
"This ride was the most successful cycling fundraiser in Canadian history and is one of the best in the world," says Paul Alofs, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.
Although weather reports leading up to the ride called for thunderstorms — which held off for the most part — cyclists braved the conditions and cycled from Toronto to Niagara Falls.
The Riders embarked on their 200-km or 200-mile journeys shortly after 8 a.m. and, amazingly, some arrived at camp in Hamilton as early as 11 a.m. to take advantage of the KPMG-sponsored World Cup tent and receive free massages or yoga instruction.
One of the most popular additions to camp this year was Cirque du Soleil performer Ryan Leech. His cycling stunt show was a combination of daring jumps, skilled manoeuvring and humourous commentary.
UHN had over 107 employees riding this year and 90 additional employees supported the riders at the finish line as part of the Cheer Squad.
A big thank you goes out to all UHN riders, volunteers, medical staff, Cheer Squad members and donors who made this event a success.
"UHN has been unbelievable this year," says Steve Merker, Chief Cycling Officer. "Leading by example is a value at UHN and we personified that this weekend."
To see more pictures from the ride or to share yours, please visit the PMHF Facebook page.
Visit ConquerCancer.ca to register for the 2011 Ride to Conquer Cancer, last year we sold out early.– Geoff Koehler