Heart dad Shaun Carpenter and friend Lance Richardson

By Shaun Carpenter

The Triple Crown for Heart began in 2008 with a few employees from BC Children’s Hospital and their friends asking themselves if it would be possible to summit all three North Shore mountains on a bike in one day. They conceived a route that is meant to look like a heartbeat on an EKG monitor, covering a distance of 75 km and over 2,000 m of elevation. To put it in perspective, this gruelling ride has the same elevation gain as Vancouver to Whistler! Well, the answer to their question was yes . . . it could be done, and it could also turn into something much bigger. The ride grew in volunteers, ridership, sponsorship, and notoriety every year, and this summer we celebrated the 10-year anniversary!

On ride day this year, the weather couldn’t have been better, which probably contributed to the over 200 participants who showed up for our 8 am start at the base of Mount Seymour. Tackling the elevation is never easy, but it sure was made more enjoyable whenever I saw a smiling face or heard cheering from our amazing volunteers or the family members who were out on the course. We even had some European tourists near the Capilano Suspension Bridge who were yelling support as if we were riding in the Tour de France. Unlike two years ago when riders were wrapped in emergency blankets at the top of Mount Cypress to generate some warmth, this year’s sunshine made the BBQ a fantastic social afternoon to cap off a terrific ride and a huge personal accomplishment for many of the first timers who came out.

We ended up breaking every record this year in both ridership numbers and fundraising, and the donations continue to flow in. Our stretch goal was $30,000, and total donations nearly hit the $40,000 mark. With our partnership with the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation as well as the Children’s Heart Network, all the money raised goes to sending heart families to camp and to support initiatives within the Heart Centre and Critical Care Unit of the BC Children’s Hospital. Thank you to all who make the event so amazing this year and every year since its inception.

Mark your calendars for our 2020 event, which will be on Saturday, July 18. If you aren’t a cyclist, you can still support by volunteering or even just showing up to cheer the riders on.

Note from CHN: The Children’s Heart Network would like to extend a huge “heart-felt” thank you to the Triple Crown for Heart for the fabulous donation, which will support many of our children’s, youth, and family camps!

“Triple Crown for Heart 2019” is from our fall 2019 newsletter, Heart Matters. See our Newsletters page for more stories and to subscribe.