Skip to content

Test of 'celebrity' Metal

Local do-gooders raise $14,000 for Linda Carney Rotary Cares

While Test of Metal riders pounded into the Alice Lake trails on June 20, another race was taking place with costumes, cheers, "celebrities," and even a couple of horses.

Participants in the Linda Carney Rotary Cares Celebrity Challenge, which left from Brennan Park just after 11 a.m., rode the first part of the Test of Metal course to the top of Perth Drive.

First to cross the finish line in about 17 minutes was Rotary's newly inducted president, Ian Davis, followed by the fastest female rider, Heidi Drygas - the duo happen to be old rivals in the event.

"My strategic plan this year was to tuck in behind Ian Davis, but he saw me and turned around a pylon so I just about crashed and fell behind," laughed Drygas.

A total of 28 riders participated, including two on horseback.

The Celebrity Challenge was first envisioned in 1998 by Linda Carney as a fun event to help raise funds for Squamish residents in need of extra support for their medical costs.

Participants in this year's event raised over $14,000, a new record. Organizers from the Squamish Rotary, including committee chair Lino Vanzella, had set a goal to raise between $12,000 and $13,000.

"It was a real pleasant surprise," said Vanzella.

Five prizes were awarded at the finish line, including honours for the top male and female riders, youngest and oldest participants and the most money raised.

Owen Carney took the award for most funds raised, bringing in almost $3,200 this year.

The youngest participant was 16-year-old Patrick McEachran and the eldest was Bruce Lebans, who turns 75 next week.

Participants also included Mayor Greg Gardner and Coun. Bryan Raiser.

So who are the rest of the celebrities?

"Anybody who goes out and raises funds and rides in this event," said Vanzella. "In Rotary's eye, they are true celebrities."

Wacky costumes and unusual means of transportation are always encouraged. This year, the most interesting team involved a tandem bicycle ridden by Neal Kindree and Lauren Hughes who towed passenger Dan Arnold in an attached trailer.

"It was great," laughed Vanzella. "[Arnold] kind of rode in there like a Caesar on his chariot."

Past participants have included a unicyclist, a man in drag, and Ueli Liechti on a bike built from rebar and cement.

The last time horses were a part of the event was five years ago, said Vanzella.

"It was a neat twist on the bike."

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks