Homeward bound on marathon ride for research

Published 12:00pm 13 April 2021

Homeward bound on marathon ride for research
Words by Nick Crockford

Redcliffe Hospital’s Dr Joel Dulhunty and his wife Naoni are halfway through their “big ride for research”.

The duo has completed more than 1200kms of a 40-day fundraising marathon from Cairns (pictured above) to Brisbane, via Cooktown and the Atherton tablelands.

They left Bowen yesterday (Monday) saying “life on the open road is going well” with just heat rash, saddle soreness and a “few aches and pains” to deal with.

Homeward bound on marathon ride for research
Dr Joel Dulhunty arriving in Townsville

On track

Dr Dulhunty, the hospital’s Director of Research and Medical Education, says they are on track with their expedition schedule covering between 60-100kms per day.

The ride’s goal is to raise funds towards a target of $120,000 for a senior university researcher to be based at Redcliffe Hospital for three years.

“As the weather is hot and humid, we often start our ride early in the morning to get as many kilometres under our belt before the heat of the midday sun,” Dr Dulhunty says.

Homeward bound on marathon ride for research
On the Milligan Highway from Palmer River to Mount Carbine

Tough day

“The weather has been a mixed blessing. In general, it has been hot, humid and relatively dry, which was fortunate as heavy rain would have made the Bloomfield Track impassable.”

Dr Dulhunty says one of the toughest days was on a remote, inland route from Cooktown with a “straight stretch of 60kms with no shade or place to stop and rest”.

“The last 10kms to our stop for the evening seemed to take forever," he says.

“We have had a number of rainy days on the Atherton Tablelands and from Innisfail to Mission Beach and they were a welcome relief from the heat.”

Homeward bound on marathon ride for research
Naoni on the Mulligan Highway near Lakeland

'Big as birds'

Highlights, so far, include cycling the Bloomfield Track through a remote part of the Daintree National Park shaded by the rainforest canopy, cassowary crossing their path and seeing brilliant blue butterflies “as big as birds”.

Dr Dulhunty is donating $1 for every kilometre he covers and has sent a “big thank you” to those who have donated to the Ride for Research. More than $4000 has been raised, so far.

To make a donation and for more information visit raiseitforredcliffe.com.au

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Homeward bound on marathon ride for research
Dr Dulhunty at the Golden Gumboot in Tully

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