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April 05, 2012

Riding with a Shared Cause – From Murray to Moyne Charity

The Ride 4 Georgia team combined with a single purpose for Georgia Mackie

Monash Medical Centre’s enthusiastic group of riders and supporters at the finish.

Warrnambool College riders Samuel Rauert\, 15, and his father Peter Raert share a sense of achievement.

Heathcote Health team riders share in the collective pride of covering 520km for Charity.

Physical endurance and charity combined over the weekend as more than 1200 cyclists glided into Port Fairy for the annual Murray to Moyne fund-raiser.

Cycling fanatics and amateur riders took part in equal numbers for the 520-kilometre ride, which covered routs from Echuca, Swan Hill and Mildura to the south-west.

Most teams raised funds for specific health organisations and causes, but one group of friends rallied together to generate cash for a yound girl with cerebral palsy.

The Ride4Georgia team has reased more than $40,000 over two years for Mooroolbark girl Georgia Mackie, enabling her to use a state-of-the-art speaking aid and attend mainstream primary school.

Ride 4 Georgia captain Chris Waixel said he believed the group was the first Murray to Moyne team to raise funds in aid of one person. “It’s a unique cause because all the participants get to see how much of a difference our fund-raising makes for Georgia and her family,” Mr Waixel said.

Father-son duo Peter and Samual Rauert took part for the second year in Warrnambool College’s team, pedalling from sunny Mildura to overcast Port Fairy.

Mr Rauert said riders on the Mildura leg enjoyed favourable conditions throughout the Mallee and Wimmera, compared with those who faced strong crosswinds in the Echuca region.

“We had fantastic weather for most of the way, which is great given autumn weather can be hit-and-miss,” the Warrnambool cyclist said.

Terang Mortlake Health Service team members Sharon Suhan and Margaret O’Sullivan said weather conditions became more favourable as they headed further south on Saturday.

“I think every rider heading from Echuca to Hamilton had to battle headwinds and crosswinds,” Ms O’Sullivan said. “Conditions down here were fine but temperatures were in the low 30s at the start of the ride.”

Ballarat mates Andrew Mahar and Richard McClure participated in the Murray to Moyne for the first time and were keen to enjoy some refreshments after the gruelling event.

Article by Alex Sinnott and appeared in The Standard Monday 2nd April, 2012.

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