So after driving like a crazy person in the pouring rain, I finally got to the Better Living Centre at 5:45am ready cheer on all the riders that came out for the Ride for Heart and snap their photo! I was one of the official photographers for the event and had the pleasure of taking photos of the VIP fundraisers. I also got to hold an olympic gold medal for the first time! Canadian Olympic Gold medalist Lori-Ann Muenzer was also at the event to show her support. She actually holds Canada’s first and only Olympic Gold medal in cycling. That thing is heavy!
Even the strong winds and heavy rain couldn’t stop the dedicated participants from coming out and riding to show their support and raise funds for the Heart & Stroke Foundation yesterday. The Ride for Heart took over the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway for a few hours as riders cycled from 25km to 75km. This was the 23rd year for the annual event and had a record 13,000 registered participants. Thousands of cyclists turned out and took on this unique challenge to help make a difference and raise funds to help save lives. People had different reasons to ride, some rode to honour a loved one, some were riding as part of a team and some people just rode for the challenge. Whatever the reason, I congratulate them on their hard work, dedication and contribution! Congratulations to all the participants, especially Colleen Johnston for raising over $100,000 and being the event’s top fundraiser! In total, the Heart & Stroke Foundation raised over $3 million!
Some facts from the Heart & Stroke Foundation:
- of the 13,000 participants, more than 4,000 are likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke.
- heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death in Canada
- 2.2 million of us under 65 have cardiovascular disease, and childhood obesity has risen threefold since the eighties
It was great to see all the people and teams excited to go out even after they saw what it was like out there. Everyone I shot was so enthusiastic! Some were soaking wet after the race but still all smiles! Check out the photos from the event and VIP photo area!