Thousands of cyclists pedaled into Belfast today, wrapping up the three-day-long Trek Across Maine–a fundraiser for the
American Lung Association.
Some 700 volunteers made the event possible, and now in its 30th year, the trek has raised more than 20 million dollars.
“It’s really designed to be a nice combination for the recreational rider and also the advanced cyclist,” said American Lung Association Northeast President and CEO Jeffrey Seyler.
Some 2000 bikers, from amateur to pro, made their way into Belfast Sunday on the heels of a 180-mile, three-day trek across Maine.
“For most, doing the sixty to seventy a day is challenging, and it does give them, again, that feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day,” said Seyler.
“It was incredible. Weather was a little tough in the first day but it was good overall,” said Steve Hall of Gray.
Some had trained for months, others, not so much.
But participants say it’s all about the camaraderie.
“It’s awesome, it’s like one big family, like all these people come together for the same cause, and it’s just great,” said Heather Roy of Durham.
“It’s a great feeling. It’s just a three day day party,” said Bill Ross of Freeport.
For so many of the riders involved, this isn’t just a bike ride for a good cause. For many of them lung disease hits close to home.
“My mother and grandmother both had lung disease, had lung cancer. I’ve been riding, this is my eighteenth year,” said Ross.
“I originally got involved because both of my kids have asthma, so the American Lung Organization is an important organization for me to support,” said Kevin Nadeau of Durham.
And not without a little help from his friends.
“They sucked me into getting a road bike, and next thing I know here I am, 180 miles later,” said John Simoneau of Durham.
When all is said and done the American Lung Association will have raised about two million dollars just this weekend, for lung cancer research, education and advocacy.
“I’m pretty sure I’m still crying,” said Michelle Ritcheson of Durham.
“My kids are here and to see them at the finish line is awesome. It’s a great Father’s Day,” said Nadeau.