Ride for Reese bikers welcomed home

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PICTOU — The Ride for Reese ended in style on Sunday.

Lloyd McLean and wife Andrea Haughan completed their 13-day bicycling journey from the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto on August 1 by way of the IWK Children’s Hospital in Halifax when they were greeted in Pictou late Sunday afternoon by a throng of fans at the end of the Jitney Trail.

They pedalled roughly 160 kilometres each day as they headed east, re-entering Nova Scotia before arriving in Tatamagouche on Friday. They travelled 156 kms to reach the IWK on Saturday and 163 kms from there to Pictou on Sunday.

Haughan said she wanted to do something special for Reese Hawkins, her god daughter and cancer survivor, in whose honour she and McLean pedalled through the four provinces in Canada’s Confederation that was established 150 years ago.

Hawkins led the trio to the finish line during the last leg of the journey along Pictou Harbour to a group of more than 100 cheering fans beside the deCoste Performing Arts Centre.

Haughan celebrated her 50th birthday earlier this year and was determined to train well enough to ride with McLean, although she said the daily regimen sorely tested her physical and mental capacity.

“Turning 50 was a big thing for me,” she said. “I decided a year ago that I wanted to do this and I did it. I was honoured to do this for Team Reese.”

She said she considered training for a future Ironman triathlon, but needed to summon all the energy she could to finish the bike ride.

“I thought I’d do the Ironman this year and I did 13 Ironman triathlons,” she said, counting the days of bike riding.

Haughan noted the $25,000 fundraising goal Team Reese set this year stands at around $17,000 and she hopes it can be achieved through various fundraising activities through the summer and fall.

McLean said the ride was difficult. He said the team endured “everything but snow” in terms of challenging weather, from heavy rain to searing heat.

“I wanted it to be hard because of what Reese went through,” he said. “Coming home and seeing Reese made it all worthwhile.”

McLean thanked the people who welcomed Team Reese home. “The greatest resource in this area is its people,” he said.

Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend race director Terry Curley and his wife Carol were among the spectators who expressed their admiration for Haughan and McLean.

“It’s nice to see people use their good health to give back to the community,” Terry said.

“It would be far more than I could contemplate doing,” Carol said of the bike ride. “It took sheer determination and will to get that done.”

Reese Hawkins leads Andrea Haughan and Lloyd McLean through a throng of cheering well-wishers at the end of the Jitney Trail to complete the Ride for Reese for Sunday in Pictou.

(Goodwin photo)

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