The Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer announced the 2013 annual cycling fundraiser will take place in Ontario on June 8-9, 2013 and will again include multiple start and finish locations and route choices between Toronto and Niagara Falls. The announcement was made as this year’s Ride which drew a record-breaking 4,852 participants raised $18.1 million for the creation and implementation of Personalized Cancer Medicine at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, came to a close on Sunday.
“This has been an absolutely incredible and insightful weekend,” said Paul Alofs, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.
“Our 5th annual Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer has not only been record-breaking, but our decision to offer multiple starts, finishes and routes between Toronto and Niagara Falls for the first time has been well-received by Ride participants. Additionally, we’ve gained some incredible leanings to build on this success in 2013. In fact, we’re already seeing strong numbers of Riders signing up now for next year’s event,” Alofs added.
For the first time in The Ride’s five-year history, the event start, finish and opening ceremonies were held in two locations: Toronto and Niagara Falls. Moments before the start, Alofs and event organizers addressed thousands of participants simultaneously in both Toronto and Niagara Falls, and shared the total number of participants and funds raised for the 2012 Ride. Audio and video from each location was simulcast and displayed on screens at both venues, which brought together event participants, crew and volunteers to celebrate their collective achievement.
Also a Ride first, this year’s participants could select from six different routes between Toronto and Niagara Falls with an overnight campsite at Mohawk College in Hamilton, where Riders enjoyed a range of amenities, including hot meals, beverages and entertainment. From start to finish, each Rider cycled over 200km along roads through the countryside of Ontario.
“I have taken part in The Ride for four years and this year has been particularly exciting as we celebrate the fifth annual event with participants cycling on different routes, but for one cause,” says Rob McColm from Oakville.
“I have seen first-hand the difference that research has made at The Princess Margaret. They saved my life four years ago and my wife’s life this year. I look forward to this event every year and will definitely be back in 2013,” McColm added.
Now going into its 6th Year, The Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer remains the largest cycling fundraiser in Canadian history, having raised over $80.2 million for The Princess Margaret, and $149.3 million for cancer institutes across Canada since its inception in 2008. The annual event draws tens of thousands of participants from across the nation and brings together communities of survivors, cyclists, supporters and everyday people who each train and fundraise for months in order to participate in the two-day Ride.
“We are making great strides in our mission to conquer cancer in our lifetime. Yet, on average, everyday, almost 500 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer and more than 200 Canadians will die from cancer,” says Dr. Benjamin Neel, Director of The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute at The Princess Margaret.
“While we celebrate the tremendous success of this year’s event, we still have much more to do to conquer cancer. Funds raised from this year’s event are being put to use to fund Personalized Cancer Medicine and the people who run the efforts at The Princess Margaret, and help improve and save lives every day,” Dr. Neel added.
Ride organizers introduced additional well-received components to the event this year, including Golden Helmets to designate Riders who have participated in all five annual Rides since 2008 as well as golden pins, which indicate cancer survivors. Survivors are also designated en route with a yellow flag affixed to their bike.
“I wore my Golden Helmet proudly, as it’s been a privilege to take part in The Ride for the past five years to make a personal difference in the battle to conquer cancer,” says Chinyere Eni from Toronto.
“As a child, I lost my leg to cancer, but I survived. I have taken part in The Ride for the past five years to fight for all those who are currently in their battle and the belief that one day, cancer will be conquered,” Eni added.
“Thank you to every single Rider, Donor, Sponsor, Volunteer, Crew Member, Doctor, Researcher and every single person who played a role to make our 5th annual Ride another record-breaking event. We sincerely hope everyone will join us next June 8th-9th for the 2013 Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. For more information and to get registered, go to www.conquercancer.ca or phone 877.699.BIKE,” Alofs concluded.