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Lance event grows

Denver hosts LiveSTRONG challenge

— The Lance Armstrong Foundation is opening new doors and challenges with the inception of the national LiveSTRONG Challenge — a five-city biking, walking and running race.

The event even features a little local flavor.

Steamboat Springs resident Carol O’Hare, the regional mentor for the LiveSTRONG Challenge, has been working diligently with a team of more than 25 runners and cyclists from six states to make this year’s Aug. 20 stop in Denver one of the best in the nation. O’Hare hopes to raise money comparable to the other stops on the challenge. The first stop, in Southern California, and second stop, in Portland, Ore., each raised more than $1 million. Other stops incl-ude Philadelphia and Austin, Texas.



“The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) helps cancer survivors and those going through cancer to live a better life,” O’Hare said.

O’Hare, who has battled cancer and lost her husband to lung cancer a year and a half ago, said she has seen LAF grow from its infancy to one of the biggest cancer-funding organizations in the world.



“It’s definitely a broader operation,” she said. “I’ve been involved with helping cancer patients since my own bout with cancer. From the beginning, I’ve been involved with LAF. I just really believe this whole organization is very well run.”

The LAF formed in 1997, and the first Race for the Roses followed shortly thereafter. The race The race always took place on Valentine’s Day, and the winner received a dozen roses. Each year, more and more grassroots races started to benefit LAF. In 2005, LAF introduced its first satellite ride in Portland. The ride took place at the Nike World Campus and was limited to 3,500 riders. The event sold out in 21 days and raised $1.3 million.

“With the success in Portland, this year they decided they wanted to expand it,” O’Hare said.

The event in Denver features rides of 10, 40, 70 and 100 miles and a 5K and 10K run. It also has a 5K walk. It costs $50 to enter the event, and those participating in the run must pledge to fundraise $50. Riders must pledge to fundraise $500.

For two Steamboat riders who plan to attend the Denver event, the ride and the cause make the whole thing worthwhile.

Jody McGee and Brian Paul took part in the Skinny Tire Challenge in Moab, Utah, a grassroots event for which the proceeds benefit LAF.

McGee, who lost her brother and father to cancer, said the race gives her a chance to do a road race and benefit a good cause.

“Having gone through it numerous times with my family, I like the message of this foundation and what they are trying to do to help families deal with cancer,” said McGee, who has raised $850 of her $1,000 goal. “There are certainly a lot of organizations that do cancer research and make big strides, but I really like everything the Lance Armstrong Foundation does.”

O’Hare encourages anyone interested in participating or volunteering to do so as soon as possible. Registration for the Aug. 20 event ends Aug 19. To register for the event, visit http://www.livestrongchallenge.org or call O’Hare at 871-1910. To pledge money for McGee or Paul, visit http://www.livestrongchallenge.org and click on ‘Donate,’ then ‘Denver’ and then enter their names.

To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com.


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