Iowa Cancer Survivors Complete 3,000-Mile Race
ANNAPOLIS, Maryland --Imagine doing a race that is the length of 30 RAGBRAIs, and the overall incline is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest six times.
Several cancer survivors from central Iowa did just that as the Above and Beyond Cancer Group completed the Race Across America.
The group biked from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.
“You know, this was mentally the most testing adventure I have ever been on,” said cancer survivor Justin Anderson.
Race Across America is one of the most grueling races, and the men and women competing aren’t professional cyclists -- they’re cancer survivors on a mission.
“They signed up for this journey not because they are bicycle racers that just happened to have cancer,” said Dr. Richard Deming, who organized the Above and Beyond Cancer group. “They are not signed up in spite of their cancer. They are signed up because of their cancer.”
Deming joined five cancer survivors, along with a few dozen crew members, faced the challenge of their lives.
From the California beaches to the wheat fields of Kansas to the Appalachian Mountains, the group crossed 12 states in all.
Taking turns, they peddled 24 hours a day for 3,000 miles total.
“It tested all of us. You go a few days without sleep and showering, and people start getting cranky. But we stayed together as a team and we pulled together,” Anderson said.
The group finished the race faster than their original one-week goal. After six days, 21 hours and 17 minutes, they crossed the finish line on the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, Md., where they toasted to a moment and a journey they’ll never forget.
“These adventures that we go on with Above and Beyond Cancer are showing up that now that we have been through that cancer journey, we can go beyond the grasp of what we would normally think we would be able to obtain,” Anderson said. “Cancer may kill you just like anything else, but cancer never ever ever has to beat us.”
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