Start/Finish: Loop course open for 24 hours starting and finishing at Bootyville, located at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
Fundraising: A minimum of $200.
Other: A 24 Hour cycling ride to benefit local and national cancer charities. Participants ride as many or as few miles (0-250+) during the 24 hour period, while raising cancer awareness and celebrating loved ones who have battled cancer.
Ready to surrender my booty to my bike seat.I have to be honest, one of my favorite events that I do every year is actually not even a running event. It's cycling. I know, I know. I'm a runner! But there is something so special about the 24 Hours of Booty ride that it makes me look forward to it the entire year. It's a combination of the ride, the people, and the challenge of getting all my cross training for the month done in 24 hours that has got me hooked.
Let me back up a little bit and tell you what the ride is all about. Though it may have a silly name, 24 Hours of Booty does an amazing amount of good. In Atlanta, the ride benefits the Aflac Cancer Center at Children's Hospital of Atlanta, as well as the Livestrong Foundation. The event consists of riders logging as many (or as few) miles on a loop course over a 24 hour period, all while raising money and awareness for cancer programs. The start/finish is termed Bootyville and it is complete with space to camp out, an all night dining area (it could be renamed 24 hours of eating), and various organizations creating a summer camp kind of feel. In addition to cycling, there are many awesome events like the cyclists dinner, the survivors breakfast, and one of the most beautiful parts, the lighting of the glow sticks (each with one person's name on it), which one team does to honor of every single person they are riding for. It provides a inspiring glow throughout the night.
The glow sticks and wall of hope remind riders why they are riding throughout the night.This year we rode a new 3 mile course through many of the same neighborhoods as the 2012 ride, but without the massive climbing. The new course was wonderful and doable for all abilities. In addition, the neighborhoods we rode through were incredibly supportive setting up aid stations and block parties to cheers us on! There were several bounce houses for the youngest riders to visit (though some of us seasoned veterans took advantage of the bounce house with the pool).
The people are what makes the ride. There really is no question about it. Being my third year, it is almost like a family reunion. Everyone, both riders and organizers, is super excited to see each other, swap stories, camp out all night, and log thousands of miles for a good cause. Sure there are teams in the event, but they are really in name only. Once the riders get there, everyone is ecstatic to be riding together and catch up. There are so many stories ranging from inspirational to heartbreaking as many of the riders are honoring loved one, are themselves survivors or even currently in their battle against cancer, but somehow the mood remains joyous. The top fundraisers are celebrated at the Cyclist dinner and stories of hope and inspiration are shared at the survivors breakfast. I have so many powerful stories to share, that I could honestly write several blog posts on the people alone!
Some people had great fundraising ideas. The bunny rode 140 miles in his suit and raised several thousand dollars. (source)The Challenge
Back in 2011, the challenge of seeing how many miles I could ride in 24 hours was what got me to sign up, but since then I've found additional ways to challenge myself during the event. This year I wanted to raise more money than I had in either of my previous years, and I was able to raise $1555 thanks to many great friends and family. They inspire me with notes, stories, and words of wisdom to get my booty in gear and are often excited to see how many miles I can ride. This year I rode 120 miles in honor of several family members, friends, and family of friends who have battled cancer. Having people to ride in honor of keeps my legs moving when I want to take a break and always seems to get me back on the bike for one more lap.
My honor rides and my bike's night flair (we are a pirate themed team hence the skulls).
Though it's not running, 24 Hours of Booty has captured my attention. With a passionate group, a worthy cause, and a motivating challenge, 24 Hours of Booty proves that amazing events are often hidden behind funny names.
Do you have any non-running events you like to do? Are there any charity events you do every year?