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R U Ok to bike for 1000km?

Peter Lister gets encouragement as he flies by, from his team-mates Wesley Reibel, Francis Ransley, Ryan Corry and Evan Corry, as well as Suicide Prevention’s Stephen Palmer.
Peter Lister gets encouragement as he flies by, from his team-mates Wesley Reibel, Francis Ransley, Ryan Corry and Evan Corry, as well as Suicide Prevention’s Stephen Palmer. Peter Holt

THEY will push their way through outback bulldust and pedal over some of Queensland's toughest corrugations, but it will all be for a good cause.

Today is R U Ok? Day, a day which encourages people to ask their friends and family "are you okay," in order to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

A group of Mackay mountain bikers have decided to take on the Crocodile Trophy, a notoriously tough mountain bike ride to help support the R U Ok? Day cause.

Mackay Christian College head of senior school and chaplain Peter Lister, who will take on the challenge later this year, said the team had already raised $6000.

"It's going to be tough, tougher and more demanding physically, mentally and emotionally than anything I have ever experienced in a race before," Mr Lister said.

The six-member team have switched their sleep-ins for 4am starts and 80km bike rides in preparation for the challenge.

The race is famous among the Mackay mountain bike rider community, as well as on the international sporting stage.

It takes about 10 days to complete and covers 1000km, starting off near Cairns and then moving into the outback and around Cape York.

Suicide Awareness Mackay coordinator Stephen Palmer said there was a real need for suicide prevention in the Mackay community.

"Mackay is recognised as second highest in the nation (for suicides)," Mr Palmer said.

"It is generally known, 70% of suicides are men. People need to talk, and people need to be asked are you okay and are you suicidal."

Everyone is encouraged to ask a friend or a family member "are you okay?" today.

More details about the RU Ok? initiative can be found on their website at ruokday.com.au.

Topics:  mackay r u ok suicide prevention


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