Riding For Ovarian Cancer Research
Hi, I’m Gordon Southam from Nobby Beach Queensland.
Peter and Claire Reaburn are two of my Miami Masters swimming buddies. While Peter taught me the benefits of the “pull-buoy assist”, Claire is the one who demonstrates what it means to train hard and swim fast. I was used to, and had accepted, her regularly beating me in practice. However, after learning of, and witnessing her battle with Rare Ovarian Cancer, while she continued to swim past me (even when she is “a bit tired”), well Claire is simply inspiring. I was on travel (China) and missed this year’s Miami Masters swim-a-thon, but as a member of the Reaburn extended family of athletes; hey, what about the Ride For Research (R4R)?
I was introduced to biking in 1985 during a university co-op microbiology placement in Ottawa, Canada, biking in the nearby Gatineau Hills. I Google mapped one of my favourite rides and it was only 70 km with 432 m of elevation; I thought it was farther, and higher. Since, “you never forget how to ride a bike”. I’m hoping that, with some training (see below), I’ll be strong enough to finish the five-day, 500 km R4R, complete with more elevation than I’ve ever seen on a bike.
After a couple of decades as chauffeur for my children (violin, orchestra, dance, gymnastics, swimming, piano), and a big move to Australia, I began training again. At 94 kg, the year we arrived in Australia, I purchased a road bike, thinking I would do a lot of riding in this land of perpetual summer. However, soon after getting my bike, I was introduced to outrigger canoeing, my now favourite sport at a healthier 82 kg. Potentially important to the R4R, I’d stopped ‘cycling’ and the road bike became an occasional part of my 9 km commute to the train station.
This is where Peter comes in, “Research has shown that a 12-week program can increase strength and endurance by as much as 20%, the equivalent of up to 20 years”. As a professor who studies performance in Masters’ Athletes, my success in this venture is on him😀. I also expect it will require a draft from my fellow cyclists, and with 4 months to go before the ride, I just oiled my bike chain…
Oh, and I’m hoping that I can transfer my canoeing skills into biking.
Let the adventure begin.