3rd March 2017

Talking Starlight’s Tour De Kids

Starlight Tour de Kids

At Guardian, we love what the Starlight Foundation does for the sick children of Australia and this year, we’ve got our sights set on cycling our way to a fundraising fortune. As the primary peddler in the peloton, our CEO, Tom Hardwick, has got the wheels turning for our team in this year’s ‘Tour de Kids.’

This 6-day Tour de Kids ride will see our team will be tearing up the tar, starting in Albury on March 27 and finishing in Wollongong on April 1st. The riding route covers all types of terrain from some brutal climbs in the Snowy Mountains to some highway stretches, a bit of bush cruising and finally, traversing the narrow roads of Kangaroo Valley.

To get the story behind our initiative, we’ve asked Tom to share some insight into the event.

What do you think about while you ride?

It’s surprising how much you have to concentrate but there’s a lot of background banter and joking around. A bit of healthy competition helps distract you when the going gets hard. Cycling the stretches on major highways with a group 30 to 40 riders needs a lot of focus to stay safe and when you’re slugging away on a 20km climb, all you can think about is the descent on the other side!

How much training are you doing?

Because it’s a fairly physically demanding, the training is intense. We have to put in a solid 300-400kms each week for the next three months to get in and stay in form.

Why the Starlight Foundation?

Before my first ride eight years ago, I didn’t know much about Starlight but now I know a lot about their story and how much they need to bring some magic to sick children. Because we work with children, we’ve had some parents who’ve had children or siblings who’ve turned to Starlight to bring some much-needed hope. At our Centre Manager’s national event, we set a fundraising goal and through community and group events, we’ve raised more than $500,000 for starlight over recent years.

What’s your favourite terrain to ride and why?

Believe it or not, I like riding up hills. Apart from the pain, I like pushing myself; the bigger the challenge, the better!

What would your theme song be for this ride?

Not sure why but this comes to mind when I’m on the road. It’s a U2 song *singing*

‘It’s not a hill, it’s a mountain
As you start out the climb
Do you believe me, or are you doubting
We’re gonna make it all the way to the light.’

How many riders in your team?

The event this year has about 60-70 riders in total with the Guardian team made up of a 10 riders. From all walks of life and abilities, it’s about working together to finish for the cause.

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