After being let go from his job, David Cormack from Calgary decided to embark on a cross country ride across Canada in support of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. He covered 3,600 kilometres and to date has raised over $6000, making him the 9th highest individual fundraiser in the 2020 Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer.
At the start of 2020, David Cormack was set to ride in his very first Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer as part of a corporate team with his co-workers. But in April, like thousands of other Albertans, David lost his job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, it was also announced that the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer would be postponed until 2021 (later becoming a virtual event in July). In the months that followed David started to ask himself how he could still ride and make a contribution to cancer patients and their families.
“I was pretty invested in the Ride and I didn’t want to stop now. I had multiple aunts and uncles who had cancer, and I still wanted to give back to all the health care workers and the research that goes into helping cancer patients,” says David.
Eventually, inspiration struck and David decided to embark on a cross country ride across Canada in support of the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
“It was all a bit of a perfect storm. I felt like it was the perfect opportunity for me to do a challenge like this because I had the time, the financial ability and the health to do so.”
He began his journey on July 1st with the goal to raise a dollar for every kilometre he rode, starting from his parent’s hometown in Duchess, Alberta to Kingston, Ontario for a total distance of 3,600 kilometres. David covered around 165 kilometres a day carrying all of his equipment on his bike and camping at night. It took him 24 days to complete the cross country ride and to date he has raised over $6000, making him the 9th highest individual fundraiser in the 2020 Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer.
When asked how David trained for his very first long-distance, and self-supported bike journey he chuckled as he said “ Inexperience was probably a little bit of a good thing for me because I learned more along the way than I could have in training,”
He watched all the videos, read all the blogs and prepared as much as he could but figured that this would be something he just had to do and learn as he went along.
“You do need to have some level of physical fitness but I definitely rode myself into shape. I did a couple 100 kilometres a week before I started the ride but that’s nothing compared to doing it every day. I found that more than physical fitness it was about having the right mentality to keep going.
I was able to stay fairly positive for the vast majority of the ride but there certainly were tough days, like when it rained back to back, and on those, I just kept thinking about the next stop and the people I would get to meet and knowing that it’s not going to rain forever. With the right mindset, a challenge like this is doable for anyone,”
David encourages anyone who is able, to participate in the virtual Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer this year and ride in any way they can – however long or short a distance – to support those impacted by cancer in Alberta.
Since 2009, the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer has raised over $80.9 million for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Funds raised through The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer enable the Alberta Cancer Foundation to support breakthrough cancer research, clinical trials, enhanced care and the discovery of new cancer therapies at the 17 cancer centres across Alberta, including the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary and Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton.
The 2020 Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer will be a virtual event, meaning participants can ride anywhere, any time and for any distance. There are no fundraising minimums and registration is free. Sign up today!