Letter of Intent – Allegheny Mountain Loop

Leading up to the IRONMAN Lake Placid, I am going to have to do some serious training (thank you Captain Obvious). But along the way I am going to compete in a few events to help gauge my fitness and just break the monotony. So Sunday I submitted my letter of intent to race in the Allegheny Mountains Loop.

There is not a day that goes by when I do not think of where I was a little over a year ago. Along the way, I have completed a number of my identified goals:

But this letter is not about looking back, it is all about looking forward. I have a couple more events in front of me before the 2017 IronMan Lake Placid, I’ll be running in the Black Mountain Challenge and Marine Corps 17.75 and competing in the IronMan Raleigh 70.3. With this letter, I would like to announce my intent in competing 2017 Allegheny Mountain Loop.

Thank you for the opportunity and I appreciate your effort!

So what is the Allegheny Mountain Loop you might ask…

It is a 400+ mile self-supported mountain bike race along the West Virginia and Virginia borders held in late April that consists of 128 miles of gravel forest roads, 78 miles of rail-trails, 22 miles of abandoned rail-trails, and 175 miles of paved roads with a whole bunch of ups and downs.

But what does that mean? Well, it means I will be starting with a handful of other crazies at 6am on April 28th to ride the loop as fast as I can while carrying everything I need. If I can’t carry it, I will need to buy it along the way. There are no support vehicles or aid stations along the way, just a simple “run what you brung” event.

Pretty stoked about it and being accepted to toe the line with some of the best cyclists in the region and see how hard and as far as I can push myself.

Getting started…

I think it was 14 years ago on a climbing trip through New York and New Hampshire with a couple of friends that I stumbled into the IronMan Lake Placid. Three dirty guys and a stinky dog wandered into an amazing place full of positive energy and excitement for every competitor entering the finishing area until midnight. The only way I can describe it would be – inspiring.

This is what I remember, throngs of people celebrating everyone as they complete their IronMan journey well into the evening.
Image Source: IRONMAN.com

That inspiration has stuck with me and I have repeatedly told myself that I want to compete in that event. Following my newly adopted mantra of JFDI, I am doing it. I have officially registered for the 2017 IronMan Lake Placid on July 23rd. For those not familiar with what an IronMan triathlon entails – it is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bicycle ride, and a 26.2 mile run.

I wanted some accountability in moving forward and completing this challenge and have entered through the Charity Partner Entry supporting the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). Training for this is event is going to be a challenge, but nothing compared to the challenges faced by patients with multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma, currently an incurable blood cancer, is the second most common blood cancer after non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Based in the U.S., the MMRF is one of the most highly regarded cancer foundations in the world. They are the world’s largest private funder of multiple myeloma research and nearly 90% of the funds raised by the MMRF are budgeted for myeloma research and related programs. And the MMRF is in the top 1% of all charities, having earned Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating for the past eleven years in a row.

So many people I know have been impact by cancer in one way or another. Whether themselves personally having to fight the disease, supporting a friend or family member in their battle, or coping with the loss of a loved one. I have personally had to deal with it multiple times with my friends and immediate family and know how bad it sucks. This is one way I can try to help prevent someone else from having to go through that process as well as prove to myself that I can complete something this grand.

I have set a minimum goal of raising $5,000 and ask for your help in achieving it. All US donations are tax deductible and you will receive confirmation from MMRF shortly after making the contribution. So please help me raise the money to help a worthwhile organization and prevent other people from having to deal with cancer.