The Cows 100 Miles Of Nowhere Media Release

thecows1603

2 June 2016

Embargo : None

Written by: Dave Macleod


The Cows stalwart set to maintain 100% record at 100 Miles Of Nowhere

Durban – Having ridden in every edition of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere cycling fundraiser, teenager Lauren Varty can't wait to jump back on her static bike and cover the 160km kilometers on Friday 24 June as a celebration of what this project has achieved in a short space of time.

The bubbly Westville woman, who is pursuing her dream of becoming a vet with a first year B.Sc at the University of Pretoria, was instrumental in establishing The Cows in KwaZulu-Natal, a group of passionate athletes who take part in popular endurance sporting events to raise funds and awareness for Childhood Haematology and Oncology Clinics (CHOC) for children battling cancer.

Varty will be returning home for the varsity holidays and will ride the 160 kilometers at the Westville branch of the Cadence Cycle Performance Centres, one of five in KwaZulu-Natal being used for the fundraiser, along with two in Gauteng and one in Cape Town added in this year to make the project national.

With a target set of R250 000 for the project, Varty is excited and humbled by what started on a much smaller scale in 2011.

"I was only fourteen at the time!" she recalls. "We had just joined The Cows after the 94.7 Cycle tour, and we decided to do a version of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere that was run by American blogger The Fat Cyclist.

"We had to break it up into four 40km sections to make sure I could handle it! Eight of us first did 40 kilometres in five kilometre laps on the Durban beachfront, then we went to Hillcrest and did 1,5km laps, then to a cul-de-sec where we did a hundred 400 meter laps, and finally we did 40 kilometres on indoor trainers at Rose Owen's house," she recalls.

Despite her full schedule of school commitments, the former St Mary's pupil has done every one of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere rides since then, even managing to squeeze it into her matric year last year.

"It was just before our Matric trials exams! Luckily I managed to prioritise my time wisely and got through both of them okay!" says Varty.

Last year Varty and her mother Iris Varty rode the full 160km ride on static bikes in the oversized furry suits that The Cows have become famous for, making the already arduous ride a lot tougher. But Varty won't have it any other way.

"Sure it was tough. But in the bigger scheme of things, what we were going through was nowhere near as tough as what the kids battling cancer have to go through every day. If we can inspire the children to push through by seeing us struggling through our 100 Miles Of Nowhere ride then I am really excited," she said.

"Luckily both my mom and I are really stubborn, so we got through the tough times together without much trouble. We are a really good team and can battle through, and it feels like we are in sync!," said Varty.

"The ride in the furry Cow suit will take us anything between five and seven hours. It is really hot, but it is mostly a mental challenge," she said.

As a teenager determined to make a difference to the charity that she stumbled on in 2011, she is in awe at how the 100 Miles Of Nowhere project has grown in such a short space of time.

"I heard that the target of R250 000 has been set for the ride this year. To be able to aim at a figure like that, and to know that it is now happening nationally at all eight Cadence centres is really humbling," said Varty.

Entries are limited at each of the Cadence centres and are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis by booking on the event website, www.100milesofnowhere.co.za 

Venues: Cadence Cycle Performance Centres in Durban North, Westville, Hillcrest, Ballito and Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, Bryanston and Wapadrand in Gauteng as well as Tyger Valley in Cape Town.
Date: Friday, 24 June 2016
Time: 14h00–19h00

More information can be found at www.100milesofnowhere.co.za

About 100 Miles of Nowhere
The event was first done in 2008 by an American blogger Eldon Nelson who goes by the name of the Fatcyclist or Fatty. The original event was a personal challenge for Fatty during his wife’s treatment for cancer. He did the first 100 Miles of Nowhere by himself, on a set of rollers in his garage. Before he knew it, his blog followers wanted to join him and do the event and so it become an annual and international event.

The next year — and every year after that — hundreds of people have done it. The event has since grown and there are participants across the globe. The Fatcyclist edition has an entry field of 500; who sign up and pay/donate to Fatty’s chosen charity. He used the interest in his challenge to raise more funds and awareness for cancer foundations. The idea is to complete a century in the most mundane and mind-numbingly painful way, to match the mind-numbing and painful repetition of chemotherapy and radiation for cancer.

The first South African version of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere was held in 2011 when a group of ten of The Cows completed the challenge as part of their year-round fundraising for CHOC (Childhood Haematology and Oncology Clinics).

About The Cows
The Cows were started in 2008 by a group of eight enthusiastic cyclists keen to make a difference and raise funds for CHOC. Cordi van Niekerk was one of the founder members and joined Kerrin and Grant Bain in cycling the 94.7 Cycle Challenge in memory of their little daughter, Jessica, who had recently died from cancer at just 20 months old. As CHOC had played a significant role in the Bain family's life in the last few weeks of Jessica’s life, specifically with palliative care and emotional support, the decision was to make CHOC the beneficiary of their quest. They decided to don cow suits and succeeded in raising R230 000.

In 2009, the herd gained momentum and grew to an incredible 140 energetic cows. Just two years later the herd numbered a staggering 350 cows all riding for a purpose. Armed with the ‘Love Living Life’ slogan and a healthy dose of enthusiasm, the herd has enjoyed much success and acclaim.

Eight years later, hundreds of people have participated in events wearing cow suits. The Cows have just broken through the R24 million mark of funds raised for specific projects implemented by CHOC and The Cows brand is prominent in many sporting events in South Africa. With these funds, CHOC is able to make a difference to the children being treated for cancer throughout South Africa.

One herd; one quest: to make a difference to children with cancer. Love Living Life!

ENDS

Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic

 The Cows 100 Miles of Nowhere2016 Logo - JPeg

 

 The Cows Logo - JPeg

 

"I heard that the target of R250 000 has been set for the ride this year," said Lauren Varty, who has ridden every edition of The Cows 100 Miles of Nowhere. "To be able to aim at a figure like that, and to know that it is now happening nationally at all eight Cadence centres is really humbling." Chris Laurenz/
Gameplan Media

Iris Varty (in the cow suit, left) and her daughter Lauren Varty (right) rode the 160km of last year's 100 Miles of Nowhere in their furry Cow suits, seen here with Mark Carroll at the Hillcrest Cadence studio. "Sure it was tough. But in the bigger scheme of things, what we were going through was nowhere near as tough as what the kids battling cancer have to go through every day," said Lauren Varty. Chris Laurenz/
Gameplan Media

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