A mass of cyclists will descend on Haliburton Forest this weekend to test themselves in a grueling eight-hour race. One of them is doing it for different reasons from the rest.
County resident Katie Woodward has been cycling since the start of August to raise money for childhood cancer research, and she’s hoping to keep that momentum rolling into the Hurtin’ in Haliburton bike race.
Woodward has cycled more than 630 kilometres and raised roughly $7,200 for the Sick Kids Foundation so far this year, about $1,000 more than 2022.
“I am absolutely blown away. I’ve had all sorts of people reach out. Everybody’s just been great,” says Woodward. “At the start of this year, I wasn’t even sure if I’d reach $6,500, which was my original goal. And so to raise what I have, thanks to everybody who’s been so incredible and generous, it’s absolutely amazing.”
She adds she’s already had a few people reach out to support her again, “so I guess it’s already a go for next year.”
This weekend’s race runs 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, with participants attempting as many laps as they can around a 27-kilometre backcountry bike trail.
“I had actually reached out to the Hurtin’ organizers back in the early spring or early summer, and they were so amazing to offer me an entry into the race to try and use it to raise a bit more money,” says Woodward. “So even if I just get another donation, I’m happy. If a couple of people want to donate, that’s awesome. It’s just been a really, really great opportunity for me to ride some kilometres, and hopefully raise some more awareness and money for kids’ cancer.”