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28 September, 2021

Cardiac Challenge raises half a million for charity

Cyclists from the 15th annual Cardiac Challenge charity bike ride rolled into Cooktown on Monday after completing their gruelling 333km ride from Cairns.


Hundreds of riders and support staff congregated at the Cooktown splash park to cool off after the final 79km leg of the three-day event.

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Williamson said this year’s ride set an all-time fundraising record of more than half a million dollars which will go towards cardiac health infrastructure for FNQ.

“The original target was $300,000 and we exceeded that, then we set a new target of $429,000 and we exceeded that,” he said.

“It’s gone extremely well, there was some incredible fundraising achieved. Last time I checked it was about $502,000, which is an absolute record.”

Mr Williamson said around 260 riders and about 140 volunteers took part this year and the event was without incident.

“It’s been hot on the road but the motoring public has been very supportive and understanding of what we are working towards,” he said.

“We got a closure of the Kuranda range, from 6am to 8.45am on Saturday, but we had it open by 7.30am, which was great.”

The tired riders and event staff held a celebratory dinner at the Cooktown PCYC to mark the success of the ride and amazing fundraising efforts.

“Everyone has set an incredible milestone this year so we will have to see if we can meet or exceed it next year,” Mr Williamson said.

The Cardiac Challenge was launched in 2007 by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation which has raised more than $4 million for cardiac services in that time.

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