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Celebrity cyclists Darryl Spector (left), President of Promation Nuclear Ltd.; and 98 the Beach Morning Host Brian Longmire were present at an April 30 press event at Martin's Bicycle Shop in Southampton where a total of six celebrity cyclists were announced for the second annual Gran Fondo Lake Huron.

Hub Staff

The 2019 celebrity cyclists participating in the Gran Fondo Lake Huron were announced at Martin’s Bicycle Shop in Southampton, April 30. The second annual Gran Fondo is set to take place August 18 and raises funds for the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation (SMHF).

Tracy Murray, Executive Director for SMHF discussed plans for the 2019 Gran Fondo after the success of the inaugural event. As of April 30, 343 participants had registered for the race, more than half of last year's total cyclists.

Now that the race is more widely known, Murray said that they’ll be switching gears and putting the emphasis on pledges. “This year we’re really going to put a push on the fundraising,” said Murray at the April 30 announcement. "Our goal is $150,000," she added.

Murray explained the money raised will go towards a new patient WanderGaurd system and a portable ultrasound machine.

Two of the total six celebrity cyclists, President of Promation Nuclear Ltd. Darryl Spector and 98 the Beach morning host Brian Longmire, were both present April 30 in Southampton to help set the wheels in motion.

Longmire, who will be competing for the second year, joked that he entered the race because he was told to, but admitted “as the local radio host it’s just one more way I can promote and support our area and the healthcare it has to offer.” The Saugeen Shores radio personality is asking his listeners to support him once again this year.

Spector not only competed in last year’s Gran Fondo but took home a notable prize, winning the fundraiser's raffle for a TREK Road Bike donated by Martin’s Bicycle Shop. Spector sends his challenge down the nuclear supply chain which he says “has grown substantially in the region over the past year."

"So there are even more teams who can rise up to join the challenge," he said. Spector also addressed a direct challenge to Bharath Nangia, a fellow celebrity cyclist. "A special gauntlet toss is also being thrown at the feet of our close friends and partners in community engagement at NPX,” summoned Spector.

"Let’s see if they can convert that friendly trash talk to big money for the SMHF," he said.

In celebrity bios distributed to the press April 30, President and CEO of NPX Bharath Nangia said the Kincardine company has been very grateful for the acceptance and support they’ve received from the community and are eager to give back. Nangia jumped at a chance to out-fundraise his rival and help out a local hospital.

Three time Canadian Paralympian, Boston Marathon winner and multi record holder Josh Cassidy is currently training in London, England for the London Marathon but will reconvene in Southampton in August to take part in Gran Fondo Lake Huron.

Bruce Power firefighter and former NHLer, Nathan Perrot will be competing in his first ever cycling race. Perrot has used cycling for years in hockey training and as a way to maintain strength in his osteoarthritic knee. Perrot made a call out to the Saugeen Shores Fire Department to enter a team of their own.

Second time Gran Fondo participant and local hockey favourite Josh Hopkin is looking forward to competing again. Hopkins described it as "a very nice ride that supports a cause that means so much to the community.” Hopkin asked for any local sports organizations to assemble a cycling team to participate in the event.

raffle bike

For the second year, Martin’s Bicycle Shop in Southampton has donated a TREK Road Bike to by raffled off at the second annual Gran Fondo Lake Huron August 18.

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