For the 450 runners, walkers, riders, and volunteers of the 2017 Answer to Cancer sponsored by Bristol Myers-Squibb, Saturday, June 10 had a very early start—by 6:30 A.M., participants began to fill the event venue just outside the gates of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY.
Many started their day with a breakfast burrito from Andy’s Diner, a local favorite, or with a free bike tune-up from one of A2C’s mechanics. Following last minute preparations, participants trickled into the chute for opening remarks by (left to right) Regional Business Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology Franchise, Stuart Dorman; melanoma survivor, and immunotherapy advocate, Sharon Belvin; and CRI CEO and Director of Scientific Affairs, Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D. By 7:30 A.M., the first wave of participants was released!
With the addition of a new route, the 5K Family Fun Run/Walk, the 2017 Answer to Cancer drew more than just cyclists.
“The 5K option means that more people, and more families, can participate,” says O’Donnell-Tormey, who walked the 5K with her husband. “You don’t have to be a cyclist to be part of the Answer to Cancer. You just have to want to be part of the movement to stop this disease from claiming lives.” Fifty-three other runners and walkers, ages 2-63, joined O’Donnell-Tormey in the 5K.
All the participants began their routes through the United States Military Academy at West Point, an active installation that has operated since 1802 and that is otherwise open to visitors through a guided tour only. While runners and walkers looped back toward the finish line, cyclists climbed the scenic Storm King Highway and rolling terrain of the Lower Hudson Valley.
The hilly course was exceptionally well-suited for the King and Queen of the Mountain Challenges—timed climbs up one or two of the course’s most brutal hills for the 50 and 100-mile groups. Our 50 mile winners, Tiernan Mulrooney and Melissa Jackson, and our 100 mile winners, Taylor Fletcher and Sharon Belvin, were each awarded a special jersey from the Challenge sponsor, Basin Holdings.
The event closed with a Finish Line Festival fit for our incredible participants: live musical performances from Brian Lammers, Rhonda Schuster, and What Up Funk, with DJ Luis Williams filling in, and some well-deserved pampering! Between the massage and physical therapy services and unlimited food and beverages, including catering from the Barbeque Specialists of the Hudson Valley and beer from Brooklyn Brewery, there was no shortage of smiling faces. Check out photos from the event here.
We are incredibly proud to announce that with the help of our riders, more than $875,000 has been raised so far—and 100% of that money will go directly to critical immunotherapy research!
Our “Tour-de-Fundraisers” (the top three fundraisers) are Andrew Tsai ($96,950), Kyle Grazia ($6,447), and Priyanka Sewhani ($6,300). Fundraising efforts will continue until September 1, and the individual with the highest total will receive a set of premium Reynold’s Cycling wheels valued at over $2,500. We also have special prizes for any Pop-a-Wheelie fundraisers (participants who raised more than $5,000) and our Roadies (participants who raised more than double their minimum).
Thank you to everyone who helped make this event possible—we couldn’t have done it without you!