On June 23, 2012, we joined the NY Center for Donation and Transplant’s team Cycle for Life to participate in the Centurion New York 25 mile ride. The race kicked off next to Lake George and the Million Dollar Beach with approximately 200 cyclists. The Organ Donor for Life participants included myself, Harold Strope and Andrew Dudek. We were supported with great cheering by Miriam Strope, Mona Dudek, Roya Dudek and Cindy and Bridget from CDTNY.
The 25 mile loop took us out of Lake George towards Lake Luzerne. There were some long gradual climbs to start. It was smooth sailing until about mile 13. For what was billed as a race for beginners, the 10% grade on one hill was definitely a challenge. This short and steep climb was followed on by at least two more climbs that surprised many of the cyclists. Team Cycle for Life was not the only charity team participating. There was a large group with Team Challenge for Crohn’s and Colitis disease. Given people are overcoming serious illnesses and surgeries to participate, the course could have been a little more beginner friendly.
That said, we made it through. As Harold and I cruised back to the Lake Front, we chatted quickly about how to cross the finish line: “high five? hold hands? race?” Hold hands down the finisher chute! We crossed the finish line together as the race announcer shared our family’s store and my father’s accomplishment.
And to top everything off, after we crossed the finish line, a number of other racers and supporters stopped by the Cycle for Life tent to inquire about organ donation!
For a new race outside our hometown, this was a good start. We look forward to growing our presence next year. And, we look forward to more activities with our new partner – the Center for Donation and Transplant!