Back in the saddle
NWT Council for Disabled Persons bike-a-thon resurrected

Tracy Kovalench
Northern News Services

NNSL (Jul 29/98) - They came, they biked and they succeeded in raising $2,200 in the name of the NWT Council for Disabled Persons.

Twenty-one cyclists of all ages, shapes and sizes set out Sunday morning with the infamous city loop in sight. Some planned a single shot around the 10-kilometre trek, while others aimed to bike the city five times around.

"I'll probably be here 'til tomorrow morning," joked Lindsey Cymbalisty, who doesn't normally cycle the circle, preferring her regular route away from the highway. "You need motivation to get around five times," says Cymbalisty.

"It's for a good cause," adds Yellowknife South MLA Seamus Henry, who raised $200 for the event.

Following two years of dormancy, the bike-a-thon was brought back to Yellowknife by fitness enthusiast Dr. Jim Corkal and a team of about 20 volunteers from the NWT Council for Disabled Persons.

"I figured it was time to resurrect it," says Corkal, who, after participating in the council's ninth annual race in 1995, led the way down the highway for this year's event.

Balancing two trophies, Corkal left the event doubly victorious. The rapid roller received recognition for outstanding fundraising on top his physical efforts.

Although his $800 fundraising contribution could not be matched, Marie Claude LeBeau gave Corkal a run for his money on the road.

Clocking in at 1:30:47, LeBeau completed the 50-kilometre trek just 15 seconds after Corkal crossed the finish line.

Like bikers pulling baby carriers behind them, an extra companion slowed LeBeau's pace early in the race. Next year she'll probably think twice before bringing her cell phone along for the ride, which cried out before she could complete the course's first lap.

As the event's No. 1 fastest male and female, Corkal and LeBeau shared the cycling spotlight with Josh Kallos and his sister Celeste Kallos. The duo took home the youth trophies for speediest peddle pusher and most persistent fundraiser respectively.

Geared by Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts, the bikers shared stories from the road and discussed plans for next year's challenge.

Word of this year's bike-a-thon reincarnate success has spoken for a reserved spot on the NWT Council for Disabled Person's 1999 roster of events.