As a Northern Lights sponsor, NOV is supporting the Alberta Cancer Foundation to progress cancer research and empower healthcare professionals across the province to deliver the best care available. Over the last seven years, they have been proud to champion our cause, and have fundraised more than $890K. This year, they aim to round that number to $1 million.
We had a chance to catch up with Team NOV Captain Tom Hewitt, as well as teammates Mary O-Regan and Kevin Domagala, who you can look forward to connecting with at the Calgary Polo Club on July 23 and 24!
Tom started Team NOV in 2015 as its sole member, but it wasn’t long before he recruited 40 colleagues to join him in cycling for a cure. Eight years later, they’re 43 members strong.
“I wanted to give back to the community, something meaningful that would change the lives of others for the better,” explains Tom.
Mary is also a long-time supporter of the Tour, and has ridden in every ride except the first. She was driven to lend her support after she sadly lost her ex-husband who is the father of her children to mesothelioma, and currently has two sisters and a niece facing cancer.
2022 marks Kevin’s fifth year Touring. His wife Samm took on the challenge in 2017 and inspired him to start his own journey a year later. He cycled virtually last year, but like many of us, can’t wait to be back to the in-person event where hundreds of riders with their own stories will join to honour those with us and those we have lost.
With years of experience under their belts, Team NOV knows the importance of getting time in your seat, and shares their advice for riders who are new to long-distance rides:
“Get enough time in the saddle before the event and on Tour Day, take it in small bites. For example, it’s about 30km to the first rest station and that’s not too difficult. Once that 30km is accomplished, look ahead to the second bite. Before you know it, all those small sections add up to 70 or 100km.”
– Tom Hewitt
“Ride as much as you can before the Tour, and don’t forget to practice on hills! Get a good pair of cycling shorts, some butt butter, and go commando in your cycling shorts.”
– Mary O-Regan
“Take the ride in small sections at a time. No matter how much or little you prepare, there will always be riders less or more prepared than you, so take your own pace and think about the greater cause, using those you ride for as your inspiration and motivation!”
– Kevin Domagala
They know emotions will be high during the Tour and anticipate building moments that will last a lifetime.
“From the tears at the opening ceremonies to the elation of the entire team crossing the finish line on day two,” Tom is ready for the remarkable experience that the Tour presents. Kevin shares his excitement, explaining that “Crossing the finish line is always the most rewarding and memorable experience. There’s nothing quite so uplifting and emotional all at once.”
Mary also looks back fondly on previous rides and cherishes the memory of holding her daughter’s hand up to the sky as they crossed the finish line together. This year, she looks forward to learning the stories of the other cyclists she’ll meet along her 200km ride and while camping at the Calgary Polo Club.
Thank you to Tom, Mary, Kevin, and all the members of Team NOV for your continuous support and contributions.