Winery manager sets up 110km cancer challenge

27th February, 2014 by Lauren Eads

Australian winery manager, Ashley Ratcliff, has launched a marathon, cycling and running event in support of the Cancer Council Australia, in the hope of raising AUS$50,000.

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The Oxford to Oxford Charity Challenge (O2O) will take place on 10 and 11 October and is the brainchild of leading South Australian viticulturist Ashley Ratcliff.

Starting from Oxford Landing Estates winery in the Barossa Valley, the 110km route will see individuals and teams cycle or jog their way past South Australia’s vineyards, finishing at the Oxford Landing Vineyard near Waikerie.

All proceeds from the volunteer-run event will be donated to Cancer Council Australia.

Mr Ratcliff, who was named Horticultural Grower of the Year in 2013, and is chairman of the Riverland Horticultural Group and Winery Manager at Oxford Landing Estates, was inspired to start the event following the death of his father three years ago.

He said: “My father died of cancer three years ago, and it has been very hard to adjust to life without him – it made death real.”

“I also recently lost a friend to cancer who was younger than me and had young children. Knowing that life is short and that being healthy one day and then being on death’s door the next made me realise that I had a duty to do something that potentially could make a difference.

“If we can in some small way help to find a cure for cancer, or allow for the development of treatment that prolongs life, well then that is my inspiration and I am sure the inspiration of all those who partake in O2O.”

Mr Ratcliff and the O2O volunteer team aim to attract 250 to 400 participants in the event, raising an anticipated $50,000 for Cancer Council.

Teams of up to 10 people are encouraged to enter and can cycle or run the 110km by breaking down the distance into shared segments.

“O2O is a great opportunity to give to a great cause. I have never been involved with a charity event before so do it with a group of people that I respect and enjoy spending time with will be a lot of fun and satisfying,” Mr Ratcliff said.

Registrations open on 28 February and can be made at oxford2oxford.com

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