Madison Armstrong loves biking but when her stepmom signed her up for the 2021 Great Cycle Challenge, the 10-year-old thought the idea was crazy.
Armstrong surprised even her parents when she managed to ride a total of 500.6 kilometres over the course of the month of August.
Started in 2016, Great Cycle Challenge Canada invites riders from all over the country to participate in a month of simultaneous cycling and fundraising for childhood cancer research, in support of SickKids Foundation.
Armstrong said her stepmom and dad, Katie Santos and Bruce Armstrong, suggested she take on the challenge.
“We thought it’d be a good idea for her to do something kind-of out of her comfort zone a little bit,” said Santos.
Of 25 riders representing the NWT in the cycling challenge, Armstrong was the fifth-highest fundraiser.
As of Monday, she had raised $2,762.30 – more than double the average raised per NWT participant.
In total, just under $30,000 has been raised so far across the territory.
Armstrong rode all over Yellowknife for the challenge, logging 42 kilometres on her longest day – a feat that she said made her feel accomplished.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing. “I hated it halfway through,” Armstrong admitted.
She said the best part of the experience was spending time with her dad, who joined her for most of the rides.
Santos said the family is beyond proud of what Armstrong was able to achieve.
“I was blown away,” said Santos.
“I look up to Maddie all the time. She’s 10 and doing these things that most 10-year-olds would never do. And you know, kids around the world will see that and kids will be like, ‘Oh, she helped, maybe I can help next year.’
“Hopefully it pushes the community to do more, especially for the youth in town. It was incredible to watch her.”
Donations are accepted until the end of September.