As Finance Manager for the Osoyoos Credit Union, Russell Comerford often plays a big role in making dreams come true.

But now he’s got an ask of his own: he wants to raise $5,000 for cancer research — and he’s willing to go the distance to make that pursuit a reality.

Russell expects to be among 2,000 riders this weekend who will be on a bicycle for the BC leg of the Ride to Conquer Cancer.

The national event encourages riders to collect pledges and commit to a 200-km ride over two days.

“This will be my fourth year doing this,” he said during a fundraising event Friday outside OCU’s Osoyoos branch.

“It won’t be a breeze. I didn’t train as much as I would have liked to. But it’s not a race. There’s over 2,000 taking part, so it’s a great atmosphere and camaraderie.”

The Lower Mainland event will take riders from Cloverdale to Hope, with riders cycling more than 100 km on Saturday to make camp at Heritage Park in Chilliwack and following up that effort Sunday with another 100 km to the finish line at the Hope & District Recreation Centre.

“Sunday will be a slower day, especially at the start,” said Russell. “It’s not fun getting on the bike at 7 o’clock in the morning after riding the day before.”

He joins the ride in memory of his mother, who died in 2005 at the very young age of 52.

“I have other close people in my life as well that are affected by cancer, so I’m riding for them as well.”

The Ride to Conquer Cancer reports it has raised more than $85.3 million in nine years, making it B.C.’s largest cycling fundraiser.

Similar events were held earlier this year in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.

To help Russell raise his $5,000, visit his pledge space online at www.conquercancer.ca/goto/rcomerford2019.

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