Over the weekend, our CEO Rob and Seattle Office Manager Lauren rode in Obliteride, a cycling event run by Seattle’s world-renowned Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (aka “The Hutch”) to raise money for cancer research. Whitepages supports community involvement in many ways. For this particular event, Rob and Lauren were sponsored by numerous Whitepagers, and our 1-for-1 matching gift program really gave them and their chosen charity a boost. We wanted to publish our CEO’s thank you letter to his sponsors below.
All of you Obliteride sponsors out there: I’m writing on Sunday night after pounding out 100 miles today (my Garmin watch actually indicated 103.5 miles on the course!). I wanted to get this note out before I collapse into bed.
With all of your help, I was able to raise $2,980 to fight cancer. And my Whitepages partner in crime, Lauren, raised $1,296. AWESOME! We really appreciate all the support, especially from so many of you on the Whitepages team. I also know that many of you knew my dad, who passed away after a two year battle with cancer in March. Thank you for supporting this opportunity for me to ride for him.
We rode with 29 others on Team Skanska today, captained by veteran cyclist and Obliterider Kevin. Most importantly, our team was the FIFTH LARGEST fund raiser, bringing in a total of $61,477 for cancer research!
A few of highlights of the race:
- Six of us on the team settled into a pace out after clearing the mob of riders at the 7:30 AM start.
- The ride started south to the southern end of Lake Washington, then through Renton and onto the Cedar River Trail. We were in light rain and 62 degrees, eating a lot of road grit from the riders in front of us since no one had fenders. At the mile 30 rest stop, teammate Matt had to wipe his glasses completely since he could no longer see out of them due to dirt.
- The lowest ebb of my ride was between mile markers 50 and 65. Twice, Kevin circled back, put me 3 inches off his rear wheel, and pulled me along in his slip stream, plowing air so I could get some energy back in my thighs. If anyone asks me what I saw down in the area around Black Diamond, I only saw one thing: Kevin’s rear wheel.
- The best part of the ride was between mile markers 70 and 80, where we had an 8-mile straight stretch coming back on the Cedar River Trail. The six of us were bunched in tight two-abreast with Kevin and another strong rider, Christian, taking the wind, clocking 22-23 mph for the whole stretch. The raw energy was palpable. And for a time there with the whole team pulling, I could feel my dad on my shoulder.
- The picture above is at the final rest stop at mile 90, Kevin to my left. Two of the guys, Brent and Matt, with whom I also swim in the mornings, waited for me a couple of times on the final stretch when I didn’t have the pull to keep up, and we rode across the finish into Gasworks Park together.
The Elysian beer tasted mighty good after 7 hours and 42 minutes in the saddle, minus roughly 5 rest stops of 10 minutes each. Obliteride knows how to throw a party — both on Friday night for check-in and at the finish today. Bands playing, great food, great company. Below is a photo of Lauren and me at the finish today. Lauren was a 50-miler and hence was in much earlier, with time to freshen up!