Whitehorse cyclist to fight cancer with ride

Whitehorse's Stephanie Benoit is preparing for the longest bike ride of her life. It's the most important one, too.

Whitehorse’s Stephanie Benoit is preparing for the longest bike ride of her life.

It’s the most important one, too.

On the same weekend as the Kluane Chilkat bike relay, Benoit will cycle from Vancouver to Seattle, Washington, in the fourth annual Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Currently, she is the only Yukoner signed up for the ride that raises money for the B.C./Yukon Cancer Foundation.

“My motivation for the ride is that my brother Robbie died from cancer. He believed that research and fundraising does help in the fight against cancer,” said Benoit. “I have seen the promos on TV for this ride and I decided it would be a way that I could contribute.

“I just think it’s a really fantastic way to do fundraising. It benefits Yukoners too, because it goes towards the places where we go for treatment in Vancouver. It’s all towards that, where we go when we are sent down south for treatment.”

It is Benoit’s first time cycling in the two-day ride, which spans approximately 230 kilometres.

“I think it’s a really cool thing, and I’ve wanted to do it for the last few years,” said Benoit.

To prepare, Benoit, who is a regular in the Kluane Chilkat race, is riding between 30 and 40 kilometres four times a week, with longer rides on the weekends.

That’s weather permitting. “Riding my bike when it’s not snowing four inches,” said Benoit, referring to the unexpected snowfall in Whitehorse Wednesday night. “I’m training and stuff, and trying to get more fundraising done.”

She has so far secured $3,570 and is actively looking for more. She is, after all, footing her travel expenses herself.

“I would be happy to get some corporate sponsors too, if possible, as this is totally out of pocket for me,” said Benoit. “I have to get myself and my bike to Vancouver, stay in a hotel when I get there.”

Last year’s ride saw 2,879 cyclists take part, raising $11.1 million. The event has become the most successful cancer-related fundraiser in B.C. history, accumulating $27.2 million since the inaugural run in 2009.

To help sponsor Benoit’s ride, visit www.conquercancer.ca/goto/stephaniebenoit2012.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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