You should know: Kids cancer ride – join the race

Lakehead alumni bikes from Vancouver to Halifax for kids with cancer

Brandi Cameron
News Editor

“I never would have dreamed I would be doing anything like this,” says Janna Levanto, commenting on being part of the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride.
Formerly from Thunder Bay, Levanto now works as a personal trainer in Oakville Ontario. She graduated from Lakehead with a Honours in Kinesiology degree, and was certified, just this previous spring, as an Olympic Powerlifting Coach. She’ll be looking to us her athletic background in her upcoming challenge.
“On June 13th, 2009 approximately 40 National Riders like me from across Canada will dip our bike wheels in the Pacific Ocean before we set out from Vancouver,” she says.  “We will be joined along the way by thousands of community riders and families who will cycle in shorter rides and participate in various community events across the country.”
Sears National Kids Cancer Ride is brought to the surface by Coast to Coast, Against Cancer Foundation. Three groups will start off at different places, and each cover around 250-300 km each day.
“My grandma calls it leapfrogging,” Janna quipped.
Essentially, all of Canada will be covered and every biker travels across the entire country. The three groups are made of bikers, who come from all across the country.
Janna has been training at an increased rate for this event; she explaining that she has “a new found respect for those who take this on as a lifestyle, and as a career.”
The dedication to diet and exercise cannot be taken lightly, as this event is extreme. Biking six hours every Saturday in preparation for her journey, Janna recognizes the intense physical strain that she will soon face.
“I am super nervous because I’m such a newbie, and I don’t want to be the weak link,” she says, somewhat nervously.
Being a Kinesiology graduate, however has given Janna a “heads up above everyone else,” because she has a “general understanding of biomechanics.”
“(My) knowledge background that has been gained, helps me in this transition to become a performance athlete,” says Janna.
For people interested in this event, Janna Levanto will be biking through Thunder Bay with her group (number 1). During three shorter distances, ride-alongs are welcome though only to a small number because of space restrictions: so sign up fast. The group also needs volunteers to man booths for refueling and media, setting up other riders, and working at safety booths. More information is available at www.searsnationalkidscancerride.com.
Janna is looking to raise a lot of money for this event because it is close to her heart, and more important than a simple fitness goal. Be part of something great, and search for Janna’s Facebook group for more information.