Golden again

By Geoff Lee

July 6, 2017 12:25 PM

For the second year in a row, Jarrod Russell was the top dog of fundraising for the Great Cycle Challenge, which he finished on June 30. Geoff Lee LSS Photo


Local brain cancer survivor top fundraiser through 30 days of cycling

Jarrod Russell may have been riding a bull named Bodacious in his mind on the final day of the Great Cycle Challenge.

His 30 days of riding his recumbent bike to raise money for kids with cancer ended with a 25.1 kilometre ride about the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition grounds on June 30.

The 41 year-old Lloydminster brain cancer survivor didn’t raise any money that day, but he was stoked by his nation-leading total of $31,158.54, to imagine eight seconds on the hall of fame bucking bull.

Last year, Russell was also the top fundraiser in Canada with $22,985.90 going to SickKids Foundation.

“It was great being number one again,” said Russell on the way back from Ponoka in his parents’ vehicle.

He was going against 11,476 registered riders.

“I am fairly sore, but I’m still going,” he added.

He also got a couple of emails from SickKids, congratulating him on his fundraising.

This year, he had 78 sponsors.

Russell’s total got a major boost during a special Kick Cancer’s Butt Day on June 15, with a matching donation of $10,603.57, thanks to a $5,000 contribution from his mom and dad.

His pot was also enriched by about $3,600 from proceeds for kids’ cancer at his Wings of the Warrior Golf Tournament.

He is already thinking about his third straight year of fundraising by bike, and organizing a second annual golf tournament at Rolling Green Fairways.

“It went pretty good this year—everybody had fun out there, some anyway,” said Russell, who golfed as well.

As for the 30 days of challenge rides logged on a GPS app, he said last year was much better on the road.

“The weather was better,” he said.

“I ran into some very bad weather.”

Russell rode 1001 kilometres, just shy of his 1050 km goal for the month due to weather conditions and some tire issues with his bike.

He completed 80 rides in all, mostly around town with his longest outing about 30 km.

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