38 REPS – $13,000

First up is a massive congratulation to Brendan ‘Trekky’ Johnston for being the inspiration behind Reps for a Reason.  His willingness to challenge himself to ride the equivalent of Mount Everest (8848 vertical metres) in Black Mountain reps shows his true courage and spirit.  In completing 38 reps he has raised over $13,000 in donations, which will directly aid the Oncology Unit at the Canberra Hospital.

Over the past month Brendan has received more than 195 ‘tweets’ of support and has amassed a Twitter following of 675.  The Canberra and South Coast, as well as the general cycling communities have shown their enthusiasm and support in many ways and Brendan would like to give his thanks to each and every one of them.

Special mention must go to the riders who donated $100 each to support Brendan throughout the day.

Jason Chalker started with Brendan at 7am and completed the first 12 reps with him.
Sean Moran came in early with 4 reps and set the fastest ascent time of the day – 10.09 minutes!!  A set of Rubena super sticky 185g slick Phoenix race tyres are heading his way
Stephanie Le Fevre completed a credible 13:41 on the 4th ascent of the day
Ascent 7 saw close friend and supporter Dylan Cooper join Brendan for 4 reps and return later in the day to join the finish peloton
The most inspiring rep of the day, Ascent 13, should be awarded to Tom Chiem, a friend of Brendan and his fiancé Sue.  Tom, while not a cyclist, pulled out his old bike and turned himself inside out to complete one brave rep with a time of 36:21.
Shaun Lewis and Lachlan Paton joined in on Ascents 14 and 16 respectively and both completed 4 reps
Ascent 21 and 23 saw Damian Breach in the escort role
David Rae completed Ascent 24 one second behind Brendan at 11:24 and rode 3 reps
Olympians Dan McConnell and Bec Henderson joined Trekky on Ascent 26.  Dan completed 12 ascents and supported Brendan till the end.
Along with Dan and Bec, Brendan’s dad Steve and sister Anna joined in proudly for a couple of reps as well as close friend John Henderson
Ascent 29 saw Ben Darlington and Amy Fletcher donate their $100 each for the privilege of escorting Trekky up the mountain.
On-site medic Dr Dan Mackay, who generously donated his time for the day to ensure that Trekky was in peak condition, joined in for a couple of reps with Dan’s best time a credible 11:38
A couple more riders joined in on Ascent 30 including Jenna Goggin and David Rae again for a total of 8 riders
Another $100 donation riders, Andrew Thaller, completed Ascent 32 in 13:21
Brendan was surrounded by his close friends for the last 5 reps with Ben Henderson joining the group for a couple of reps, along with the final $100 rider, Charles Nicoll 10:59

In the 10 hours it took Brendan to complete his reps more than 180 cyclists paid $10 each to show their support of Reps for a Reason.  We would like to thank every one of these support riders who helped make the day a success and boosted Brendan’s determination to complete his mission.

A special mention must also go to Greg Burghardt who was challenged by his work mates to complete 20 reps of Black Mountain.  He started at 7am and continued relentlessly till he had completed his challenge.  Thanks to Greg for raising $250 for Reps for a Reason.  Greg will receive a full Musculoskeletal Cycle Screening from Belconnen Physiotherapy Clinic worth $150 for his efforts.

We asked Steve Johnston (Brendans dad) for the highlights of his day and what he thought of Reps for a Reason.

“Inspirational – Brendan giving back to those who helped him the only way he knows how; hard work!!  It was unbelievable, the amount of laps and the speed of climbing. All the people who supported during the day – riders and volunteers, the sponsors and people who donated on line – absolutely sensational. Leanne and the Henderson family; I can’t express in words how much we appreciate what they have done for us. So many good things happened on Saturday.

There were three things that really stood out to me.  The first was that one of the Oncology Unit nurses Ainslee, who treated Brendan, was not a cyclist so decided to run up the climb four times.  

Secondly Tom, a guy who owns a restaurant and knew Brendan and Sue, came along paid his $100 pulled out his old bike and said to me “I don’t know how I am going to do this, I am not a cyclist but out of respect for Brendan and the cause I am going to do this”. I pumped his tyres up and away he went.  Tom absolutely smashed himself to complete one lap.  Awesome!

The third thing was obviously the amount of respect Brendan has from his fellow cyclists. Oh yes, and one other thing. We were having dinner on Saturday night reflecting on how things went and Bec Henderson asked me if I had found my doors yet.   In a puzzled look I said “what?”  My daughter Anna and I were doing a few laps and Bec was reminding me that Anna smashed me going up the climb and how Anna blew my doors off. A great day, a great cause. One very, very proud father. Thank you all from the Johnston family.

Brendan and the Reps for a Reason team would like to thank the many supporters who made the day possible.  Without you we would not have been able to reach, and then go beyond, our $10,000 target.

The individual people who generously donated their time include:

  • Dylan Cooper – for designing and hosting the Reps website and ensuring the donations were received within a safe and secure system.
  • Dr Dan Mackay – for monitoring Trekky to ensure he was in prime condition to finish 38 reps. Thank you for your advice and care.  Dan also took heaps of great photos which you will be able to see on the Reps for a Reason website.
  • Russ Baker – for setting up a great timing and display system to record the number and time of each ascent completed by Brendan and the $100 donation riders.  Russ also took some great photos.  See the Reps website.
  • Wayne & Lisa Goodwin and Grace & Ellie – for cooking a bbq for all the support people and also raising $250 for the Oncology Unit
  • Rob Fisher from Viking Cycling Club for delivering the road signage to ensure the public were aware of the cyclists on the road

The sponsors of Reps for a Reason include:

  • Trek Bicycles Australia – who donated a Trek Madone 2.1 valued at $1599 and $500 cash.  All donations $50 and over went into the random prize draw.  Winner – Daniel Green
  • Radical Lights – a radical-lights PODDA valued at $999 goes to the person who has donated the highest amount of money through the on-line donation page on the Reps for a Reason website by 31 December 2013. Winner – TBA
  • Rubena Tyres – a set of Phoenix racing tyres valued at $140 went to the rider who set the fastest ascent time.  Winner – Sean Moran
  • Pushys Bike Warehouse Fyshwick – six $50 Pushys vouchers were given out on selected days for the person who donated the most money on the daWinnersRichard Nelson, Graeme Marsh, Rob Fisher, Brendan Jones, TBA
  • Capital Bicycle Hire – 1 hour coaching session for the winner and two of his mates for the person who donated the most on Monday 11 December.  Winner – Nathan Carroll
  • Bike Culture Belconnen and Belconnen Physiotherapy Clinic – A Platinum Bike Fit went to the person who made the highest donation between midnight Wednesday 11 and midnight Friday 13 December. Total prize value is $400.  Winner – *****
  • Belconnen Physiotherapy Clinic – a full Musculoskeletal Cycle Screening valued at $150 was awarded to the outstanding rider of the day.  Winner – Greg Burghardt
  • Mr Matthews at Southlands Quality Meats for generously donating the sausages for the bbq which fed the support team and raised $250.

Nathan Haas summed up perfectly how everyone felt in the following:

Having been both a friend and team mate of Trekky when he first discovered his testicular cancer in 2009 it’s been not only a reality check for my own health but also an emotionally hard period for myself knowing a friend was struggling for his life.

It’s very easy to forget what somebody has been through when their life now seems so untainted by the past. However, Trekky now in full remission, cancer in his rear view mirror did something beautiful to those who supported him through his hard times.

What Trekky did, riding Black Mountain 38 times in one day I feel was not really for himself, rather, as a thank you to his support through his hard time. Without arms in the air as he crossed the line in his final accent up the beastly steep mountain, his first words in an honestly relieved voice were “thank you”. Almost as if he had ridden only to show his family and friends that he is back, and better.

In having done this we are in fact the ones more suited in thanking him for having been so strong not only on the day, but since he received the bad news in 2009. Not only has he overcome cancer, he has also overcome our own expectations of what is possible and in the process put some talented cyclists in severe pain on the day trying to keep up.

Chapeau, Trekky and thank you.