Tag Archives: Ride for Amy

Turkey Trotting, Free Fotos, and Donating Duds

The PR Fitness group run was smaller than usual today. Many of our regulars are running one of the big marathons this weekend – Detroit, Grand Rapids, or Columbus. I joined a group training for the “Iron Turkey” (5K followed by 10K) at the upcoming Ann Arbor Turkey Trot. We ran the Border-to-Border Trail along the Huron River, and I got to see the Argo Cascades for the first time. This is a set of artificial rapids completed last March that can be used by canoes, kayaks, and tubes. No one was on them today, it being cold and wet, but sometime I want to come back out to watch them in use. The crew teams were out on the river as usual, however.

Argo Cascades. Photo courtesy of Andy Piper, Flickr Creative Commons

This afternoon I stopped at the Running Fit in Novi to pick up what I won at the Ride for Amy auction – free race photos for 2013! Greg Sadler Photography donated the service to help raise money for Amy’s recovery, and I put in a bid on it, which turned out to be the winner. So all photos they take of me at races they cover (a lot around here) will be sent to me, full resolution, free of charge. It won’t take many races for make the price worthwhile, but even without that, the money went to a good cause.

The 2012 Super 5K. Look for a lot more of photos like these in next year’s posts!

I also dropped off some old running shoes, including the ones I ran my Woodstock 50K in. I’d worn the soles almost completely bare from running and racing, and then for errands, walking around, and such. I’d used them for one final blaze of glory at Run Woodstock, since I didn’t care if they got trashed by the mud. Instead of throwing them in the trash, I decided to see if I could donate them instead. The girl at Running Fit confirmed they would take them, and that the shoes would be reconditioned for use in poorer countries where shoes are scarce. Despite the good cause, I found it surprisingly difficult to hand them over, sort of like sending two old racehorses to the glue factory. When I explained I’d run my first ultra in them, she smiled and asked if I’d like a moment alone with them.

I also have several T-shirts from my various races that I would like to donate to anyone interested. Adult Large, 100% cotton, most never worn. Holiday Hustle T-shirts are long sleeve. Email me or leave a comment if you’d like one. Otherwise, they will go to the Salvation Army store or PTO Thrift Shop.

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A Good Cause for a Wet Ride

I WAS BACK ON THE TRICROSS SATURDAY MORNING for the “Ride for Amy” event at Island Lake Recreation Area. It was around 40 degrees and overcast, so I took along some rain gear and extra clothes. Good thing.

Despite the less than ideal weather, turnout was good. According to Eva, one of the organizers, around 300 people had registered for the event, and there were many last-minute arrivals. I didn’t see anyone I knew; Saturday morning is a regular PR Fitness run downtown, and I think the word got out rather late that the event was actually a run as well as a ride (I chose to ride). There was no set distance; you could do as little or as much as you liked. The point was you were there supporting Amy.

We heard the very good news from Amy’s sister that Amy’s condition is improving. A candidate for state representative also spoke briefly. He asked how many cyclists in the crowd had ever been hit by a car, and I was surprised by how many people raised their hands. When he then asked how many people were afraid to ride on the roads, most people raised their hands (including me). He told us he supported the complete street program, making roads more accessible to other forms of transportation by adding bike lanes and pedestrian crosswalks. (Of course, “vote for me” was his unspoken but strongly implied message.)

Yep, these days the kids can come along, too.

It began to rain as we headed out, and I was cold from the wait, so I considered stopping at my car and adding another shirt. But something Amy’s sister said stuck in my mind as she thanked us for coming: “Yes, it’s a bit cold out there, but it’s nothing compared to what Amy is going through.” I decided that some minor discomfort during the ride would help me relate to Amy’s struggle and appreciate my own health and fitness that much more. So I rode on.

The ride course took the park’s two-lane road from one end to the other and back, a total distance of just over 10 miles. Given the conditions, I wore my bright yellow jacket and turned on my rear flasher. As a cyclist, there is no such thing as “too visible”. Yet I was surprised and disappointed to see several instances of what I consider a lack of common sense. Some riders wore dark clothing or were not wearing helmets. I also saw people riding more than two abreast, despite cars on the road behind them. Cyclists have a right to the road in Michigan, but they do not own it. Safety on the roads is a shared responsibility; both cyclists and drivers need to do their best to avoid preventable accidents.

I completed one loop and called it quits, deciding I’d done my part and it was time to get dry and warm. I checked out the auction room, full of gift certificates and gear to bid on (all proceeds going to support Amy). Then I checked out the incredible goodies in the food tent while listening to the triathletes discuss the triumphs and challenges of the various Ironman events they’d completed. Only fitting, given that Amy had been training for the biggest Ironman of them all – the World Championship in Hawaii, which took place today.

Everyone in the photo has done at least one Ironman triathlon (2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride, capped off with a marathon).

Given the turn in the weather and Daylight Savings Time ending soon, this may well have been my last bike ride of the year. Not exactly a picturesque fall color tour, but it was for a good cause.