Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Whistler's Claire Buchar rides again to spotlight ovarian cancer research

The retired World Cup athlete will mount up on April 6 for a 50-kilometre fundraiser through Squamish

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably encountered or heard of several cancer-related money-raisers before. Most of us have done Terry Fox runs in school, and some have donated to (or even participated in) various initiatives to join the continuing effort against this insidious group of diseases. 

What you may not know is that, according to the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), an estimated 1,950 women died of ovarian cancer in 2023. In fact, survival rates for this particular ailment remain low and have not meaningfully improved in the last half-century.

Claire Buchar is not going to take that grim outlook lying down. That’s why she’s organizing her second annual Ride for Ovarian Cancer: a 50-kilometre bike jaunt in Squamish with 1,800 metres of elevation gain. Her goal is to raise at least $5,000, and she’s optimistic about reaching it since her first event two years ago produced nearly $8,000. 

“Ovarian cancer affects a lot of women and it’s basically terminal,” said the former professional downhiller. “I refuse to believe that it’s going to stay that way. We need to fight for more awareness and more funding.” 

For Buchar, the battle is personal. She lost her mom to ovarian cancer when she was 17 years old, an event that understandably rocked her world. The longtime Whistlerite essentially had to grow up overnight, but now she cherishes the opportunity to ride on in her mother’s memory. 

‘Time to give back’

Buchar chased her athletic dreams for decades, and has plenty to show for it. She owns a bronze medal from the 2011 World Championship in Champéry, Switzerland, made Team Canada on a dozen separate occasions, and is the 2009 national titleholder. Now, she wants to give back. 

There’s more than one way for Buchar to do that, of course. She works in graphic design at Chromag Bikes in Function Junction and has been a prolific brand ambassador for some time. She also coaches the Canadian squad at Worlds most years. 

Yet, there’s obviously something different about raising money for cancer research. 

“Sport is important in our culture. I very much supported it, and now I support all the young athletes,” Buchar said. “But this community supported me so much for so many years, and it’s time to give back—to pay it forward a little bit more. To be able to do something like this, where I can give back to a cause through my riding, is super cool.” 

Buchar mounted up and hit the road in 2022, determined to see her newfound mission through. A crew of close friends rallied to join her on what turned out to be a memorable eight-hour trek beneath sunny skies and rain alike. Fifty kilometres may not sound like much to an experienced rider, but single- and double-track trails early in the spring can pose a stiff challenge to those who have been hibernating all winter. 

“It was really special to have other people believe in the cause, because we’re all affected,” said Buchar. “It’s our mothers, sisters, wives, aunts: women in our lives that are integral. And [that first ride] was a long day … a wake-up call to the legs.” 

The former World Cup athlete wants to see an uptick in pre-emptive surgeries for women who are at risk of ovarian cancer, as well as more education and awareness on how to mitigate one’s risk through healthy lifestyle choices. A cure is the obvious and ultimate goal, but there are numerous milestones that can and hopefully will be reached along the way. 

A family emergency forced Buchar to cancel her 2023 fundraiser, but it’s back and slated for Saturday, April 6. Money raised will go towards Ovarian Cancer Canada, the lone registered Canadian charity focused on eliminating and reducing the disease’s impact from coast to coast. All who donate $50 or more will have a chance to win a new bike handlebar, stem and saddle from Chromag Bikes (valued at over $450). 

Learn more about Buchar’s Ride for Ovarian Cancer at