The Cows 100 Miles Of
The Cows stalwart set to maintain 100% record at 100 Miles Of Nowhere
Durban – Having ridden in every edition of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere
cycling fundraiser, teenager Lauren Varty can't wait to jump back on her
static bike and cover the 160km kilometers on Friday 24 June as a
celebration of what this project has achieved in a short space of time.
The bubbly Westville woman, who is pursuing her dream of becoming a vet with
a first year B.Sc at the University of Pretoria, was instrumental in
establishing The Cows in KwaZulu-Natal, a group of passionate athletes who
take part in popular endurance sporting events to raise funds and awareness
for Childhood Haematology and Oncology Clinics (CHOC) for children battling
Varty will be returning home for the varsity holidays and will ride the 160
kilometers at the Westville branch of the Cadence Cycle Performance Centres,
one of five in KwaZulu-Natal being used for the fundraiser, along with two
in Gauteng and one in Cape Town added in this year to make the project
With a target set of R250 000 for the project, Varty is excited and humbled
by what started on a much smaller scale in 2011.
"I was only fourteen at the time!" she recalls. "We had just
Cows after the 94.7 Cycle tour, and we decided to do a version of the 100
Miles Of Nowhere that was run by American blogger The Fat Cyclist.
"We had to break it up into four 40km sections to make sure I could handle
it! Eight of us first did 40 kilometres in five kilometre laps on the Durban
beachfront, then we went to Hillcrest and did 1,5km laps, then to a cul-de-sec
where we did a hundred 400 meter laps, and finally we did 40 kilometres on
indoor trainers at Rose Owen's house," she recalls.
Despite her full schedule of school commitments, the former St Mary's pupil
has done every one of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere rides since then, even
managing to squeeze it into her matric year last year.
"It was just before our Matric trials exams! Luckily I managed to prioritise
my time wisely and got through both of them okay!" says Varty.
Last year Varty and her mother Iris Varty rode the full 160km ride on static
bikes in the oversized furry suits that The Cows have become famous for,
making the already arduous ride a lot tougher. But Varty won't have it any
"Sure it was tough. But in the bigger scheme of things, what we were going
through was nowhere near as tough as what the kids battling cancer have to
go through every day. If we can inspire the children to push through by
seeing us struggling through our 100 Miles Of Nowhere ride then I am really
excited," she said.
"Luckily both my mom and I are really stubborn, so we got through the tough
times together without much trouble. We are a really good team and can
battle through, and it feels like we are in sync!," said Varty.
"The ride in the furry Cow suit will take us anything between five and
hours. It is really hot, but it is mostly a mental challenge," she said.
As a teenager determined to make a difference to the charity that she
stumbled on in 2011, she is in awe at how the 100 Miles Of Nowhere project
has grown in such a short space of time.
"I heard that the target of R250 000 has been set for the ride this year. To
be able to aim at a figure like that, and to know that it is now happening
nationally at all eight Cadence centres is really humbling," said Varty.
Entries are limited at each of the Cadence centres and are allocated on a
first-come-first-served basis by booking on the event website,
Venues: Cadence Cycle Performance Centres in Durban North, Westville,
Hillcrest, Ballito and Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, Bryanston and
Wapadrand in Gauteng as well as Tyger Valley in Cape Town.
Date: Friday, 24 June 2016
More information can be found at
About 100 Miles of Nowhere
The event was first done in 2008 by an American blogger Eldon Nelson who
goes by the name of the Fatcyclist or Fatty. The original event was a
personal challenge for Fatty during his wife’s treatment for cancer. He did
the first 100 Miles of Nowhere by himself, on a set of rollers in his
garage. Before he knew it, his blog followers wanted to join him and do the
event and so it become an annual and international event.
The next year — and every year after that — hundreds of people have done it.
The event has since grown and there are participants across the globe. The
Fatcyclist edition has an entry field of 500; who sign up and pay/donate to
Fatty’s chosen charity. He used the interest in his challenge to raise more
funds and awareness for cancer foundations. The idea is to complete a
century in the most mundane and mind-numbingly painful way, to match the
mind-numbing and painful repetition of chemotherapy and radiation for
The first South African version of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere was held in 2011
when a group of ten of The Cows completed the challenge as part of their
year-round fundraising for CHOC (Childhood Haematology and Oncology
About The Cows
The Cows were started in 2008 by a group of eight enthusiastic cyclists
keen to make a difference and raise funds for CHOC. Cordi van Niekerk was
one of the founder members and joined Kerrin and Grant Bain in cycling the
94.7 Cycle Challenge in memory of their little daughter, Jessica, who had
recently died from cancer at just 20 months old. As CHOC had played a
significant role in the Bain family's life in the last few weeks of
Jessica’s life, specifically with palliative care and emotional support, the
decision was to make CHOC the beneficiary of their quest. They decided to
don cow suits and succeeded in raising R230 000.
In 2009, the herd gained momentum and grew to an incredible 140 energetic
cows. Just two years later the herd numbered a staggering 350 cows all
riding for a purpose. Armed with the ‘Love Living Life’ slogan and a healthy
dose of enthusiasm, the herd has enjoyed much success and acclaim.
Eight years later, hundreds of people have participated in events wearing
cow suits. The Cows have just broken through the R24 million mark of funds
raised for specific projects implemented by CHOC and The Cows brand is
prominent in many sporting events in South Africa. With these funds, CHOC is
able to make a difference to the children being treated for cancer
throughout South Africa.
One herd; one quest: to make a difference to children with cancer. Love
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The Cows 100 Miles of
Nowhere2016 Logo - JPeg
The Cows Logo - JPeg
"I heard that the target of R250 000 has been set for the ride this year,"
said Lauren Varty, who has ridden every edition of The Cows 100 Miles of
Nowhere. "To be able to aim at a figure like that, and to know that it is
now happening nationally at all eight Cadence centres is really humbling."
Iris Varty (in the cow suit,
left) and her daughter Lauren Varty (right) rode the 160km of last year's
100 Miles of Nowhere in their furry Cow suits, seen here with Mark Carroll
at the Hillcrest Cadence studio. "Sure it was tough. But in the bigger
scheme of things, what we were going through was nowhere near as tough as
what the kids battling cancer have to go through every day," said Lauren
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