LiveStrong Challenge in Philadelphia Was a Success

The LiveStrong Challenge Philadelphia took place on Sunday, September 10 without me. It sounds like it was a big success. The weather was nearly perfect that day, with rain coming in that night, well after all of the riders and runners crossed the finish line.

Many articles appeared in the media before the event. A good example is Birdsboro mother, stepson ride for a cure from the Pottstown Mercury:

Valerie Rowe and her stepson Steven will set out on a 40-mile bike ride to benefit cancer research Sunday as part of the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s Livestrong Challenge Philadelphia... The Penn State Berks professor she began cycling because he husband, Bob, is an avid rider... Her reason for accepting this particular challenge, she said, is because her sister and sister-in-law are both cancer survivors. "Plus, I have a lot of respect for Lance Armstrong," she said.

Here are a couple of the better articles that were published after the LiveStrong Challenge took place. Passion for cycling spurs cancer drive from the Morristown Daily Record:

Two years ago, Morristown resident Steve Jablon helped found a group of bicycling enthusiasts within his Bridgewater pharmaceutical company. Members of the PharmaFliers, as the group was dubbed by the employees of Sanofi-Aventis, found a kindred spirit in each other for the sport they love...

Earlier this year, the PharmaFliers discovered the... LiveStrong Challenge, a 100-mile charity bike ride through various cities across America. Sixteen members of the group who have been directly and indirectly affected by cancer began training for the Philadelphia Live Strong Challenge, which was held on Sept. 10...

Of the $2.6 million total raised for the Foundation in Philadelphia, the PharmaFliers contributed $19,400, nearly doubling its original goal, Jablon said.

LiveStrong Challenge Philly Report by Will Swetnam of The Paceline.com [ registration required to read ]:

Like many supporters of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, I was curious as to how the shift to the five city LIVESTRONG Challenge would play out. Having attended the last 6 Ride for the Roses events in Austin, I was curious how the "feel" would compare to this one. When making my choice, Austin would have been the easy one - just drive on down from where I live outside of Dallas - but I wanted to try one of the other rides. I've ridden in several of the LSC event cities, but never in Philadelphia, and so my decision was made for me...

{The early part of the course consisted of} rolling hills through neighborhoods, farm areas, past old buildings, and amazing houses. The course was well marked and I never once felt the need for a cue sheet. My riding partner for the day, Christine, who is training for a few centuries later in the year, and I had agreed to a steady pace to help build endurance, and so we were able to enjoy the scenery. We passed the first two rest stops, and stopped in at the third...

Swetnam continued:

Soon there were more descents than climbs, and I knew we were headed towards the river and downtown Philadelphia. The course dipped down to about 40 feet of elevation before we made a left turn through a parking lot which had a rest stop. Almost doubling back on ourselves, we continued on and found the longest climb of the day so far… a steady hill that touched 12-15% grade from time to time, that lasted just over two and a half miles. The payoff again was sweet – a long descent down towards the city and the Schuylkill River... As we made a looping left bend back across the river, we approached the base of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, made famous by Rocky, and past the Rocky statue – recently rescued from storage and placed back on the grounds of the museum. This was also the same area where the USPro Championship race had been held prior to it being moved this year to Greenville, SC. The next few miles were a little slower, as we mingled in along a smaller path and headed back to the Northeast...

Just as Christine and I were discussing how much further we had to go, it seemed like the tree line just ended and the finish was in site. The now familiar, from so many Ride for the Roses, announcer voices were welcoming each rider to the line.

I really wanted to participate, but I didn't feel that I could make the training commitment this year, while helping to take care of my three-month-old son Jimmy. I hope to do the ride next year, if The Lance Armstrong Foundation comes back to Philadelphia. From the reports I've read, it sounds like there's a pretty good chance of that.