Vernon’s Peter Byrnes is riding in the Great Cycle Challenge to fight kids’ cancer. You may support him by visiting https://greatcyclechallenge.ca/Riders/PeterByrnes. (Photo Submitted)

Vernon’s Byrnes cycling for cancer

Vernon teacher issues triathon challenge

As an actor, Peter Byrnes has played a doctor in the Rocky Horror Show, a leper in Jesus Christ Superstar and Belle’s father in Beauty and The Beast.

Now, the 51-year-old Highland Elementary School Grade 5 teacher is dealing with real life trying to make a difference in finding a cure for cancer. Byrnes, a Vernon father of two sons, has been riding all month in the Great Cycle Challenge to fight kids’ cancer and will spin and swim in the annual Kal RATS Spring Triathlon Sunday morning at Kin Beach.

“A pop up on Facebook invited me to ride in support of conquering children’s cancer,” said Byrnes. “Having lost three close relatives in the last two years to cancer, I understood the pain, uncertainty and heartbreak associated with the disease. Children shouldn’t have to fight this disease. Childhood is for laughter, love and learning. There are so many great causes but I decided this is where I would make my stand.”

Byrnes, who moved to Vernon in 1993 from Australia, says the Great Cycle Challenge has raised more than $3 million already with 18,000 people covering a million kilometres to date.

“More than 1,400 children are diagnosed with cancer every year, and it’s the biggest killer of children from disease in Canada,” said Byrnes, who along with Armstrong buddy Mark Wehner, has qualified for the World Triathlon Championships this September in Brisbane. “Kids should be living life, not fighting for it. So I am raising funds through my challenge to help these kids and support SickKids Foundation to allow them to continue their work in developing treatments and finding a cure for childhood cancer.”

He is asking for support to give kids the brighter futures they deserve. Statistics show 27 children in Canada are diagnosed with cancer every week.

“Your support will change little lives. My goal is to ride 1,000 kilometres in June. I have ridden 698-k and raised $1,315 so far.”

To draw greater attention to the cause, Byrnes is throwing down a challenge. He will complete the 750-metre swim and 18.5-k cycle in the triathlon. A mountain bike crash has curtailed his running for a while, but his friend Ian McKechnie will be completing the five-k run. The triathlon starts Sunday at 8:30 a.m.

“My challenge is that my team, with a 51-year-old school teacher and a 37-year-old dairy farmer, will place top-10 out of 160 entries or I will donate $100 to the charity. If I do place top-10, I am asking challengers to donate $10 to the Great Cycle Challenge. Big thanks to Iron Heart Gym, Sun Country Cycle, Ruth at Professional Hands Massage Therapy and to all my friends and family for all their support and encouragement.”

People can donate money at https://greatcyclechallenge.ca/Riders/PeterByrnes


@VernonNews
sports@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan travel survey deadline approaches

Participants have until Dec. 18

UPDATED: Absolute discharge for mischief charge against Sagmoen

Trial starts at 9:30 a.m. in Vernon Law Courts

Customer appreciation day supports CMHA Vernon

Families Helping Families raised $1,000

Judge rules controversial Lake Country inn will not get business licence

A Court of Appeal judge sided with the district Tuesday

Lake Country residents give letters of support for cannabis store

Council will decide on whether to approve a variance and licence for Compass Cannabis

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

Okanagan lawyer honoured by appointment to Queen’s Counsel

Only seven per cent of practising B.C. lawyers are appointed

Letter: Hopping for happiness

Last week, my two kids (10 and 6) set up a hopscotch on the main street.

Missing man last seen in Shuswap

Red Deer RCMP would like public’s help locating elderly man with dementia last observed in Sicamous

Scholarship smooths road ahead for Okanagan College transfer student

27 students from Okanagan College received awards from the Irving K. Barber Society

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

Most Read