Julie Bertrand / Independent reporter
After participating in two long-distance cycling events this summer, corporal Laurel Konschuh of the RCMP Central Region Integrated Traffic Services has set her sight on an important goal.
She is raising money to participate in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation LINKPINK Ride with famous U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong.
“In order to ride with Armstrong, you have to register and pay a non-refundable fee of $750,” explained Konschuh.
“Moreover, you have to fundraise $7,500. It is a fair amount.”
She has had lots of support since she started her fundraising campaign in May.
“My fundraising is going very well. I am up to $6,985 already,” Konschuh said.
“I have not even done a lot of fundraising in Stettler yet. This is just family, friends, a few local businesses and so on.”
She would like to get the whole community of Stettler involved, since it is for a very good cause. Her goal is to raise $10,000.
“All the money raised goes to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. It goes towards research,” said Konschuh.
This cause is very special for Konschuh, as two of her aunts have breast cancer. While one is a survivor, the other is presently undergoing chemo and radiation treatments.
“What I am finding very interesting is, as I am doing this fundraising, and sending messages out to all contacts and all friends, I am hearing about old friends who have had breast cancer and I did not know about them,” she said.
“It has really been an eye-opener for me. There are far more people touched by this than I was aware of.”
Konschuh, who has lived in Stettler for the past six years, started cycling in 2007.
“I bought a used bicycle from Norbert Baharally for cheap,” she remembered.
“For two years in a row, I did a relay ride from Grande Prairie to Edmonton. It was a fundraiser for the Special Olympics.”
A former runner that participated in the 2009 Boston Marathon, she made the switch to cycling because she wanted a change.
“This year, in my training, I have ridden more than 1,700 km since May. I am really enjoying it,” said Konschuh.
On July 10, she participated in the Penticton Gran Fondo with her sister and friends.
“There were over 2,000 riders entered. We rode 160 km through the Okanagan Valley. It took me six hours to do it,” said Konschuh.
“I loved the experience because of the fun camaraderie amongst our team and the thrill of crossing the finish line with my sister Julie.”
She did a second Gran Fondo two weeks later, this time in the Rockies.
“This one was 140 km. It was still a long distance. It is becoming a bit of a passion of mine,” said Konschuh.
The LINKPINK event will be a 60 km-ride out of Cochrane in early September.
“I am not very concerned about riding the 60 km. It will be okay after riding 160 km,” said Konschuh.
Should readers be interested in sponsoring Konschuh, they can do so through her LINKPINK profile at www.cbcf.org/linkpink or they can drop their donations in Konschuh’s name at the Stettler RCMP detachment.