For the fourth year, Team CREA will be participating in the Pelotonia 16 bike ride on August 5th-6th in Columbus, Ohio. This year’s participants include veteran rider Jeff Nelson and newcomer, Matt Urbanski. The pair will be raising money for the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at The Ohio State University.
Pelotonia began in 2008 and is a grassroots bike tour with one mission: to end cancer. There are different events to participate in, ranging from 25 to 180 miles. A unique piece of this fundraiser is that one hundred percent of the money raised will go directly to cancer research. To date, Pelotonia has raised more than $106 million.1 With roughly 7,700 riders in this years’ bike ride having already raised approximately $11.99 million, the funding continues to grow.1
“I originally signed up for the ride as a reason to get back into shape,” said Urbanksi. “I knew once I signed up and had committed to riding at least 50 miles and possibly up to 100 miles, I would have to start training – which I have done. I wanted to do the ride last year with the CREA team, but was experiencing back problems at the time.
Huntington Bank is a main sponsor of the event and one of CREA’s long-term investors and business partners. In the past, CREA employees have joined the efforts of Team Huntington, who matches up to $400 to help riders reach their commitment. Last year, the team had 1240 riders who raised approximately $3.3 million.
Besides supporting a CREA investor, Nelson has many other reasons to ride.
“Bike riding is one of my hobbies and this is a great charity,” said Nelson. “It’s a great way to bond with other CREA employees, especially those I don’t get to see that often as I’m in Boston. I’m also a cancer survivor myself, and have had many family members battle cancer as well, so I have a lot of reasons to ride.”
Not only is the ride for a great cause, but the event itself will be exciting. The ride is a three day experience that provides biking, entertainment and volunteering. The volunteers help with the race and are also encouraged to fundraise. The course will run through a scenic route of northeast Ohio.1
“Long rides in extreme heat can be brutal, which is a concern for all the participants,” said Urbanski. “Hopefully, with the right training and as Bobby Boucher would say – plenty of some ‘high quality H2O,’ the CREA riders will be fine.”
Even with the heat and many miles of biking, the event is all worth it to those who benefit from the fundraising.
“One of the highlights of the ride is that there are families that put out supportive signs and set up lawn chairs to cheer you on through the whole ride, so that definitely helps,” Nelson said.
Urbanski and Nelson each have a fundraising goal of $1500. Both are appreciative of the moral and monetary support that CREA offers. To donate to the deserving cause visit these links:
“Pelotonia.” Web. 26 July 2016.