Hopkins 4K for Cancer

The mission of Hopkins 4K for Cancer is to unite communities across the country in the fight against cancer by spreading awareness, raising funds, and fostering hope.


July 16, 2007

by Shantha Parameswaran
We woke up early this morning and went through the usual routine. I was excited about my group—Drew, Jerome, Jen, and Katherine—since I had hardly had the opportunity to ride with most of them during our trip. The morning started pretty well, although we ran into a little construction and Jen hit a cone. Afterwards, Jerome’s stuffed Sigmund Freud greeted us with a pile of food before we began a 20-mile climb to the first water stop. I have decided that my body is basically at the point of fatigue now that we are weeks into the trip, and I’m probably the slowest climber on the team. Nonetheless, we made it to the top and Rob was waiting for us with 50’s music and snacks. We stocked up on water and listened to Drew and Jen rap to Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice before heading down a much-needed descent. I couldn’t help but stare up at the sky on my left the entire time I coasted down; I had never seen clouds spread out in such a unique pattern before. I practiced my riding with no hands as I snapped a few pictures of the scenery and friends zipping by on their bikes. We stopped to take a picture at the Arizona border, which apparently was the first time that the 4K has crossed into that state. Shortly afterwards, we made it to the second water stop where Jared and Ian were anxiously waiting for our arrival. This was most definitely the best water stop that I had experienced on the 4K. Ian’s departure was near at hand and for his last van day he had planned quite an event. After we ate and drank (and Ian stripped down to his boxers), the fun began as Ian described the “Dress the Driver Challenge.” This challenge involved a relay in which each person on the team began with running around a tire pump 3 times, then catching/breaking a water balloon tossed by a teammate, dressing Ian in an article of biking gear, and then running back to tag the next person in the shortest amount of time. After talking strategy for about 5 minutes, we had our line-up, assigned article of clothing, and we were ready to go. I can proudly say that my group took home first place with a record time of 1 minute and 50 seconds, as well as a pirate piñata full of candy!! We each dunked our heads in the water cooler and were off again for rolling hills and the killer heat. I was in exhausted mode, so I just put my head down, stared at my front tire, and kept on pedaling. I had a little help up a few hills when Drew let me hold onto his back jersey pocket as he pulled me to the top. We didn’t get a chance to stop at the Nevada border and take a picture because unfortunately, the sign was on the interstate and we never passed it. I didn’t mind too much though because I was pretty excited about the lunch buffet that Rob had set up at the Eureka Hotel and Casino in Mesquite. The food was delicious and it was refreshing to escape the scorching heat for a little while. We had to bike a little longer to the First Baptist Church from where we shuttled to showers at the local youth center. After a Wal-Mart run for food, we all ate dinner in the church as Katherine and Nicole were busy cracking about 4 dozen eggs into a big silver bowl in the kitchen for breakfast the next morning. They were able to fool a few of the more gullible members of our team into thinking they were making onions brownies, when really they were getting ready for breakfast burritos. We had lights out in the main room pretty early that night because the first wake-up group had to be up at 3am. I was assigned to the first wake-up group, and we had to be ready to leave by 4am when the second group was waking up. Some people turned in, but others, including myself, enjoyed an evening of movies, table tennis, and pool before calling it a night.