Illawarra businessman on epic ride to raise funds for cancer

Peter Buckley (centre) training with supporters Rod Latham, John Boyle, Dean Pons and Reiner Mangulabnan for an eight-day ride for cancer research. Picture: GREG ELLIS

Peter Buckley (centre) training with supporters Rod Latham, John Boyle, Dean Pons and Reiner Mangulabnan for an eight-day ride for cancer research. Picture: GREG ELLIS

MERCURY SERIES - Making A Difference

Thomas & Coffey Wollongong general manager Peter Buckley is known for never shying away from a challenge.

But even his family and friends are a little surprised by the magnitude of the latest adventure he has signed up for in August.

"I'm hitting the road on a 1600-kilometre cycle over eight days to raise funds for cancer research," Mr Buckley said.

"I'll be one of 50 cyclists tackling the seventh annual Smiddy Challenge. The ride starts in Brisbane and finishes in Townsville eight days later. It will travel across some of the most rugged and gruelling roads in central Queensland.

"The challenge commemorates the life of physiotherapist, and keen triathlete, Adam Smiddy, who passed away from an aggressive cancer aged only 26 in 2006. I'll be riding to raise awareness among my friends, community and business associates for this wonderful cancer research."

Mr Buckley said it was important because cancer could impact anyone and it was important to find a cure.

He is being supported in that cause with local riders such as Rod Latham, John Boyle, Dean Pons and Reiner Mangulabnan who encourage him on early morning rides around Lake Illawarra to help him prepare.

Mr Buckley supports many charities and was recently emcee for JCI Illawarra's Tea By The Sea fund-raiser for the Cancer Council.

But this time it was a physical challenge and he believes he is up for the task at hand.

He said he knew what he was getting himself in for and had been training hard in recent weeks for his latest fund-raising initiative for cancer research.

"Most people wouldn't go this far on a holiday, yet a group of 50 are going to do this ride in eight days starting on Saturday the 30th of August," he said.

"To date, this incredible charity has raised over $4 million for cancer research, plus we will be visiting local schools in remote Queensland along the way to spread the word for the Smiling for Smiddy charity and cancer research programs.

"I have set a target of raising $3000 for the charity."

Anyone who would like to support or encourage Mr Buckley can do so here.

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