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On Sunday May 31, CivicMuslims pulled into high gear for an experience of a lifetime: The Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart. It was a rainy & hazy day in Toronto, but that didn't stop our friend Samrah and her family! Get ready for a treat because Samrah is our gracious guest blogger for the 2015 Ride for Heart. Read on for her experience!

Getting the opportunity to bike on the Gardiner and DVP was an amazing experience to enjoy Toronto at the 2015 Becel Ride for Heart on Sunday, May 31, 2015.

This one-of-a-kind view, the good company, a few Gatorade breaks, and of course, the healthy, delicious and well-deserved post-ride snacks offered to all competitors made the grueling uphill battles and the cold wind manageable.

It was also hard not to draw inspiration from watching the avid bike rider zooming past the crowds, the little boy who just learned to ride his bike two weeks ago ("His mother's going to kill me", his father smiled), the older riders travelling slowly but surely, the mother who kept checking in on her children in the bike trailer, the man arm-pedaling on his recumbent bike and the couple pedaling together on their tandem reverse bike - all working to reach the 25, 50 or 75 km mark.

The dreary and wet weather conditions made it difficult to wake up at 5:30 AM, but once we joined the 14,000 other participants in the Ride for Heart, we saw first-hand the power of coming together as a community - working towards the 6 million dollar goal to fund life-saving heart disease and stroke research, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in communities across Canada and the development of life-saving treatments. The event also serves as a reminder to keep up a healthy and active lifestyle, no matter one's age.

Here are some of the comments from our team members:

"It was fun, despite the weather. Looking forward to next year!" -Salman

"Despite the rain and the cold, it was an awesome experience. I am already looking forward to next year and might even double the distance that I cover!" -Mahma

Overall, our team of seven raised 1,100$, beating our original goal of 700$.