Go John!

John and Amelia adopted Maggie and Jimmy from us, probably two years ago now. Two beautiful black greys that you may have met at Stalls or Sausage Sizzles.

They have already been so generous in their donations but now John is going to trek through not one event but TWO in the hope of raising some funds for Greyhound Rescue.


John writes the following: “EVENT 1- Sunday 10th March:
Cycle the SCODY 3 Peaks Challenge- 235km; 3 Epic Climbs covering Tawonga Gap, Mt Hotham & Falls Creek covering over 4,500m of elevation; 13 Hour time limit.
Considered one of Australia’s toughest 1-day rides. Some details below show what makes it such a challenge (and make me slightly concerned)-http://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/general/great-rides/94609/

EVENT 2- Saturday 18th May:
Run the Australian North Face 50KM- 50km trail run through the NSW Blue Mountains; 11 hour time limit.

Another corker across some tough trail including over 1500m of climbing. http://www.thenorthface100.com.au/RaceInfo/50#Course

While doing this I’m hoping to raise some much needed funds for a cause doing some incredible work against the odds (literally) in Australia.

It’s a little talked about fact that the Greyhound racing industry in Australia is responsible for thousands of healthy dogs being put down every year. It goes deeper than what to do with retirees, and it is estimated that only 1 in 10 dogs bred for racing even make it to the track with thousands of healthy young greyhounds routinely ‘euthanised’ every year. It is especially sad as greyhounds have a gentle nature and a long history of being great family pets.

Greyhound Rescue is a charity which helps save and re-home Greyhounds dumped by the racing industry to be killed, either as youngsters because they didn’t make the cut as a racer, or because they are minimally injured or have reached the end of their racing days. The charity was started by Peter and Janet Flann who single-handedly took on this cause without any state funding, and over the years they have worked tirelessly with some dedicated volunteers to save hundreds of healthy greyhounds from being needlessly put to death, and go on to live long happy lives as pets.

The number of greyhounds killed by the racing industry each year in Australia is staggering, and I’m hoping to raise some much needed funds to help Greyhound Rescue save more of these incredible animals, and also help raise awareness of this little known plight.”

Go John!!! We all support and thank you!!

Please share the link/donate to support this epic journey he will be enduring for the greyhounds!


Here is John’s diary of the first event: Cycle the Scody Peaks Challenge

Quick update on progress so far (sorry for slight delay, was waiting for some pictorial evidence to come through)…

In a nutshell- EVENT 1 completed, EVENT 2 training going well (well, going!), with the Blue Mountains looming large!

For those of you who asked for some details, this is how things panned out…

EVENT 1: Cycle the SCODY 3 Peaks Challenge- Check!
On Friday 8th March I headed down to the Victorian Alps, staying in a cabin half way up Falls Creek Mountain. As Mt Hotham road had been closed due to bush fires and landslides (I know!) the organisers had tweaked the route, meaning we tackled the stunning Mount Buffalo instead, as well as an extra punchy little peak towards the end. As soon as we arrived I immediately became aware of just how big and steep some of the climbs are in this region (the “Alps” part should probably have given this away) and what an effort this was going to be, even in perfect conditions. Turned out the conditions on the day made things all the more taxing…

5.30am on Sunday I headed up the mountain to the start line in Falls Creek, where about 1,500 people were getting ready to kick off a long day of cycling. Having never done the event I was right at the back which gave me a great view as the sun began to rise and everyone started to career down the winding road. Some of those around me had clearly decided that the main part of the cycle they’d make up time would be on the downhill sections, leading to one of the scariest 30 kms of my life- I was going downhill at a pretty conservative 60-odd kmh while others sped past me as if I was standing still, including one poor chap who flashed by at one of the first corners only to disappear off the side of the mountain (he was fine, though his bike wasn’t)! On that first hill alone I counted 3 accidents and 4 punctures. Suffice to say I decided to take it slightly easy on that first hill.

By the top of Tawonga Gap (the first peak) I’d managed to get a good rhythm and had moved up through the line well, feeling confident about the hills, especially with the distraction of the scenery which was awesome. What started to concern me was the heat. By 9am the temp was around 32 Degrees, and every minute the sun was rising I could feel the temperature going up too.

Mount Buffalo was one of the most incredible cycles of my life, around 25 kms long, amazing views at every steep turn, and at the top there was an old gent with a hose! Man I was pleased to see him!! Given the heat the various hoses set up around the course were attracting quite a crowd. After queuing to top up my water, I left the others enjoying a well-earned break and headed down the hill on my own. 30 kms of beautifully cambered winding road completely to myself. Heaven after the earlier Falls Creek descent mayhem.

This was the point after which the joy ended! On reaching the lunch stop at about 11.30am the temp had reached around 40 degrees, and the next 100 kms felt like I was being roasted in a merciless, rolling oven (in fact one of the towns was called Ovens! I laughed, because otherwise I’d have cried!). I’ve honestly never been so conscious of all my energy being sapped out of me as I felt during the next 100kms. As the afternoon wore on we passed cyclists strewn across the side of the road, huddled under lone trees for at least a little respite. I managed to join a few people growing into a mini peloton for some of this section, giving us at least a little occasional slipstream from the fan-heater wind, though this splintered pretty quickly given the fatigue setting in.

Ironically, it was the smallest peak of the day, Rosewhite Gap, which caused the most pain so far. After 160km and that sapping heat I felt every inch of it. Then the pain continued to the 200km mark at which point I reached the base of Falls Creek. 30 kms of serious climbing to go…

I can’t remember the pain, but remember getting into a good rhythm again. I’d managed to keep eating throughout the course so my brain knew I had some energy left even if my body disagreed. I drank about 1.5 litres of water every hour or so, but even so, I was parched. With 17km to go I passed our cabin and my ‘support team’ (Mel and the dogs!) had a little extra water for me (good skills- how did you guess!), and as I continued a kid and his mum were pouring jugs of ice cold water over passers-by- again, a life saver, but then the rest of the climb I was on my own. Littering the road were poor souls who’d blown up or decided to take a 5 minute r&r in the hope of finding that last ounce of energy, some curled up in the foetal position (quite a disturbing sight!)! I don’t remember the pain but it must have been extreme because I recall seeing the 4 kms to go sign and thinking that I might just stop and call it a day! Clearly that wasn’t really an option so I told my legs to shut up and get on with it.

Almost 20% had to abandon with heat exhaustion or technical difficulties, and I’m sure I came close on numerous occasions. In the end I crossed the line 11 hrs 15 mins after starting that morning (9hrs 30mins of cycling time), thankfully well within the 13 hour limit, and still in one piece.

Not sure I have the words to describe how good the steak and beer tasted that night!


On to EVENT 2- the North Face 50KM trail run through the Blue Mountains.

A couple of niggling injuries (running hurts!) meant that the running training was a little slow to get going after the 3 peaks, but last weekend I was in the Blue Mountains and things are starting to click again. A few big trails and the injuries seem to have gone. With this in mind I woke early this morning and covered 23kms of trails before work. Only 27kms to go! One thing is for sure- this is going to be incredibly hard, so some work to be done before 18th May.

Oh, and we’ve received $1,787 in donations so far, which is quite unbelievable! Many thanks for your kind support, it’s really appreciated. Would be great to keep this going!


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