Megan Duncan

Challenge South Australia

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Challenge in South Australia March 2024 – “Smiling for Smiddy”

In March 2022 I travelled to Cairns to participate in an epic bicycle ride to raise money for Mater Foundation cancer research. Yes - I will be doing it all again in the Adelaide Hills next March!

I feel privileged to be a part of something very special. My last experience was nothing short of amazing, making lifelong friends, getting fit and raising money for crucial cancer research all at the same time. There were 60 riders comprised of two pelotons, red (my team), and our competitive rivals, the blue team.  We were heavily supported by 25 volunteers working in the background to make this event possible, providing riders, meals, accommodation, physios, bike mechanic, paramedics, road crew, and other behind the scenes support that made the journey possible. The ride was set over 5 days, riding approximately 650kms and climbing 7000 metres in elevation. I didn’t appreciate what 7000 metres of climbing really meant until I was already committed, a nasty pinch in the legs.

For a less experienced, possibly ill prepared rider, the challenge seemed daunting, impossible even to complete. On day 3 of the challenge, I clearly recall telling ‘Stinky’ (Red peloton Leader), “I don’t think I’ll be able to get up this hill”, his immediate response was, “Yes we can, we’ll all get up there”. I found myself surrounded by Red team riders, with words of encouragement and a gentle hand on the back helping me up some of Queensland’s highest hills. The wise Sharky warned, “While there’s some suffering in the way of heat, humidity, hills, crappy roads, sore bodies and the smell of road kill, both on the side of the road and within the peloton, most of the time can only be described as incredibly enriching and good for the soul”.

I feel very fortunate to have been able to participate in the Smiling for Smiddy ride, I would not have been able to do this without the support of my family, friends, work colleagues and the generosity of those that made donations to the foundation. I have my reasons for taking up the challenge, both family and friends have been diagnosed with various types of cancer. They cherish each day and hope for new advances in treatment to extend their time with the people they love. I am again asking all my family and friends to support me however you can for the Smiling for Smiddy Foundation. 

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Megan Duncan