You can tell when it gets close to the Obliteride time of year and Lewis riders are gearing up for the annual Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center benefit ride. Water cooler conversations turn to discussions on carbo loading and comparing notes on the best training routes. Obsessive talk of bike computers can be heard with analysis of all the data like distance, average speed and time. Biking to work more often is fun and a good way to train. But, it requires detailed planning about what clothes you need to wear that day and figuring out alternate transportation when you need to get to meetings in the middle of the day like Ubering, bussing, walking and sometimes running when I am late!
The Fred Hutch fundraiser is easy to support because finding a cure for cancer is something that we all want. It is amazing what the researchers have learned already about this disease and the progress that has been made. When I reached out to my network for fundraising support I got a great response. Almost everyone who supported me last year wanted to do it again. When someone donates they get a chance to write you a little note. It is fun to read those. “Proud of you. Carey,” from my neighbor. “Some year I want to ride with you,” from a friend. “Yay Mom! Glad I can help support you and this great cause,” from my daughter.
The Obliteride kickoff party Friday night was awesome. Gas Works Park was a stunning venue for the orange wrapped party. Elysian beer produced a custom draft called “Obliterade.” Tom Douglass once again pulled out all the stops with an amazing BBQ. Lewis and Friends defended their title and once again was recognized for being the number one team in terms of participants and fundraising. We had over 100 riders and raised over $150,000.
Sunday’s race was a fantastic time with great weather, tons of energetic people, beautiful scenery. It was really fun chatting with people on the course. People are riding for all sorts of reasons. Shaun Corry, 4-time rider and loyal friend on the Lewis and Friends team, rode for her many friends who have survived, and haven’t survived, cancer. Shawn’s shirt was plastered with stickers with the names of friends she rides for.
My training seemed to pay off, and I was able to shave about a half an hour off my time. It was a thrill to cross the finish line and hear my name over the PA system, but even more so it was gratifying to be part of a community pulling together for a common cause: to end cancer.
Fred Hutch is leading the way with innovative research and advances in cancer treatment, like their Nobel-prize winning work around bone marrow transplantation—a procedure that has taken survival rates for certain kinds of Leukemia from zero to ninety percent. I am proud to have supported to their cause, along with the 1400+ other Obliteride riders this year, and am honored to call Fred Hutch a client.
Now, onto next year’s race: only 362 training days until Obliteride 2017!