Gordon Southam

Riding For Ovarian Cancer Research

Raising funds for: Ride for Research 2024
50.90% Raised
$2,545.00 donated of $5,000.00 goal
29 Donors

Gordon Southam

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.

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  1. Gord, you talked me up one of those Gatineau hills on my three speed super cycle back in the day. I still hear your voice in my head on the stupid steep inclines where I “just walk up the steps”. Thanks for that. : )

  2. Good luck with the ride Gordon. Thank you for adding a new dimension to riding. It’s awesome!

  3. Amazing effort on the ride Gordon, and amazing work honouring your friend and raising awareness of this disease

  4. Everybody has at least one woman in their life. Everyone should acknowledge that this pathologies are a possibility.

  5. There is zero regular screening for ovarian cancer in Canada and not a lot of motivation to change that. Anything that brings attention to this is a worthwhile cause. Good luck with your, Gord, and thanks for bringing attention to this.

  6. What an amazing cause Gordon! My mother is an ovarian cancer survivor, so this is a cause close to my heart. Best of luck! Evelyn (and Jackie and Caspian)

  7. Gord is “Riding for Claire” our amazing Miami Masters team member! The Southams also swim for Claire at the annual Miami Masters Swimathon, but Gord has to do all the biking for Team Southam since I am afraid of biking (beyond spinning classes). Go Gordie!

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