RED DEER -- A Red Deer man virtually cycled for 24 hours to raise awareness for front line health care workers. Jason Ezeard, the Operations Manager for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, set the challenge of cycling 12 hours each day for two days.

He thought of the idea after he watched Geraint Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France winner, virtually ride for 12 hours a day over three days to raise money for the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.

Ezeard said the idea of splitting the 24 hours into two 12 hour shifts was to mimic a shift of a frontline health care worker.

“I sent some texts out to people in healthcare and they said, yeah, it can be 12 hour shifts on the front-lines, so, I said, well let’s do 12 hours then.”

What further bolstered his motivation to pursue the challenge is the fact that he has family who are on the frontlines right now fighting the pandemic.

“My parents live in PEI and I got family in Ontario and they’re on the front lines with COVID-19 right now, so it’s a cause close to home,” said Ezeard.

“They put themselves at risk everyday.”

He used an indoor cycling app called Zwift which tracked his progress and provided him with a virtual route to cycle through.

Ezeard’s raised more than $4,500 for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation and rode a total of 616 km.