Ride to Conquer Cancer raises $6.7M in Alberta

According to organizers, 1,500 riders were participating in the annual fundraiser, now in its ninth year.

1,500 riders are taking part in the ninth annual fundraising ride in and around Calgary

The 1,500 riders taking part in this year's event gather at Winsport in Calgary's northwest prior to the start of the ride. (Ride to Conquer Cancer)

The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, underway this weekend in and around Calgary, says it raised $6.7 million for the Alberta Cancer Foundation this year.

According to organizers, 1,500 riders are participating in the annual fundraiser, now in its ninth year.

Money raised goes towards research, clinical trials, enhanced care and "the discovery of new cancer therapies" at centres across Alberta, according to the organization. 

"Every day, 43 Albertans hear the words 'you have cancer.' But this community of riders, volunteers, crew members, donors, sponsors are committed to making life better for Albertans facing cancer," Myka Osinchuck, CEO of the Alberta Cancer Foundation, said in a news release.

Riders connected to the cause

The ride is a two-day, 200 kilometre trek. This year, it starts at Winsport in northwest Calgary, heading out to Bragg Creek and ending in Okotoks at the end of the first day, before riders turn around and finish back in Calgary. 

Many of those in the ride participate because of a personal connection to cancer. 

"I ride for my father, a lymphoma survivor, my mother, who passed in 2014 of skin cancer, and myself, a chronic leukaemia patient currently going through treatment at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre," participant Gillian Aitken said in a news release. 

The ride ends on Sunday.