OSU gears up for Pelotonia 2010

OSU gears up for Pelotonia 2010, sponsors recruitment events for annual bike tour

By Amy Mittinger


Published: Monday, May 31, 2010

Updated: Monday, May 31, 2010



Ohio State has sponsored a series of recruitment events for Pelotonia 2010, the second annual bike tour that raises money for cancer research at OSU’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The bike ride will be from August 20 to 22, and all participants must submit their applications online by June 15. Each individual biker or team of bikers is required to raise a minimum of $500.

Every penny raised will benefit the university’s medical center.

Eileen Scahill, media relations official for the Medical Center, said that if bikers cannot raise $500, they can drop out of the event by Aug.13. But if they fail to raise the required amount by the time the race has ended, Pelotonia will charge their credit cards.

Andrew Fast, finance captain for the Pelotonia Student Team, said he became eager to get involved in Pelotonia after losing close friends and relatives to cancer.

“Cancer has touched my life in many ways, having lost my grandmother, family, friends, and watched many other relatives and friends battle the disease,” he said.

Fast, a second-year in finance and accounting, remains devoted to recruiting sponsors and student participants.

Eight events on campus are geared toward recruiting bike riders. Half of the recruitment events have already occurred and four more are approaching in June.

During the third recruiting event Friday, eager participants gathered at the Ohio Union’s Performance Hall to listen to speeches about the race.

Tom Lennox, executive director of Pelotonia, said that last year 2,265 cyclists helped raise $4.5 million for the cause. He expressed his enthusiasm in the group’s new goal of having 5,000 cyclists raise between $9 million and $10 million.

A short speech by President E. Gordon Gee soon followed. Gee discussed his first wife, Elizabeth, who died of cancer at the OSU Medical Center in 1993.

Then, coach Jim Tressel stepped on stage and told the crowd that he lost his dad to cancer 29 years ago and his mother in 2001. He said he enjoyed riding in Pelotonia last year and looks forward to the upcoming event.

His speech was followed by Mac McDonald, a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer in May 2009. McDonald said this cancer infects the oral cavity at the base of the tongue. He received cheers from the audience when he announced that after receiving four surgeries, one deep biopsy and 37 rounds of radiation at the OSU Medical Center, he is considered cancer free.

“Life’s a challenge. I have the best medical team. If you want a piece of me, cancer, bring it on!” he said.

OSU faculty and staff who participate in Pelotonia are given a raffle ticket for a drawing to win a 2010 Honda Accord, donated by CompManagement Inc., or a new Giant Defy Advanced 2 bicycle.

Even if they don’t win prizes, Fast encourages his fellow students to ride alongside him. He said last year’s Pelotonia was an inspiration to many.

“There were people of every shape and size imaginable, from die-hard riders to people who looked like they didn’t even know what a bike was,” he said. “At Pelotonia, none of this mattered because everyone was there for the same reason.” 


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