Extreme Cyclocross: The Longest Run-up

My friend Tobin Copley will be attempting something a little crazy tomorrow… and doing it for a good cause. Tobin posted an eloquent description on Facebook so I am reposting it here, with his permission:

Have you ever wondered about that 80 metre limit the UCI imposes on cyclocross run-ups? What would it be like to have a really long run-up–I mean a reeeaaallllly long run-up?

I’m going to need your help with something, though. More on that later, but park that thought for now.

I have a monumentally stupid idea. It’s not the first time, and it’s not going to be the last time. Remember how for the last two years I’ve ridden from Kelowna to Vancouver over the Coquihalla in a day, in order to raise money for cancer research? Well, I’m going to do that again, next year. But on Wednesday September 22nd, I’m going to ride from my house to the base of Grouse Mountain, then shoulder my bike and run the Grouse Grind. You heard that right. That’s a 2900 metre run-up with 853 meters of elevation gain. And I’m going to run it for time, using my Grind Timer chip. Then I’m going to ride down the back of the mountain via the back-side access road–over a thousand metres of steady braking on steep, rocky, wash-boarded gravel road. Then I’ll ride back home, shower, and go to work.

Does that sound hard? Yeah. It is. I’m going to struggle. But you know what’s a bigger struggle? The recent cancer diagnosis Rachel, the sister of one of my good friends got. The fact that she can’t even get up out of her own bed to help her son get dressed in the morning to go off to his grade one class. Or walk home with him after school. What’s crazier, and what is just so much harder than my stupid idea, is that everyone has a story to tell about someone they love being affected by cancer. I want to honour Rachel. I want to honour all the people fighting this terrible disease. 100% of the money I raise from doing this will go to fund research activities sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society. No overhead deductions. No event costs. Every penny donated will go to cancer research.

I’m going to have a gang of co-conspirators accompany me with video cameras to record my misery every pedal stroke and step and skinned knee along the way. Hey: Why keep such fun to myself?

I’m going to spend a morning in struggle to raise money so Rachel’s struggle will be eased, and that of all people battling cancer. And of all people yet to be diagnosed. Support me in this–the money raised will go to cancer research funded by the Canadian Cancer Society. In so doing, you’re supporting Rachel, and everyone else who is fighting for their lives right now.

So: how can you help? Three ways:

1) Donate a bit of money to support me doing this, so that the Canadian Cancer Society can fund innovative cancer researchers. Go here to do that: http://cancerevents.kintera.org/tobincopley

2) Spread the word about this nuttiness. Share this note on Facebook. Put links to it on your own Facebook page. Talk it up with friends. I’m doing this next week since the weather is changing and winter is coming. There’s not a lot of time to pull the attempt off, or to do fundraising. So I could really REALLY use your help. All of you.

3) Watch the video once it’s done. Laugh at me. Share the video. ‘Cause you can bet I’ll be slipping a fundraising pitch in there somewhere. And cancer affecting Rachel so that she’s not able to dress her young kid or walk him to school really pisses me off. I’m mad. And I’m doing something about it. I might not be an oncologist, but I can ride a bike, so that’s something I can do for her. F*ck you, cancer!

I’ll post a link to the Tobin’s video here once it is ready. In the meantime, you can support Tobin by visiting http://cancerevents.kintera.org/tobincopley. Good luck, Tobin.


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2 Responses to “Extreme Cyclocross: The Longest Run-up”

  1. Tobin posted an update to Facebook a few minutes ago: “FREAKING DID IT!!! 58:15. Thanks to everybody!”

  2. I realized I had promised a link to the video and not posted it yet. Here is the link: http://vimeo.com/16105815