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.

Journal

June 16, 2007

by Rob Attori
You might have heard the old wivesí tale that the Midwest tends to be flat. I have investigated this rumor personally and have discovered that this is not the case. Today was further proof of this. Logan started his leg off with a bang by waking us up at 4:30 so we could beat the heat. Breakfast was pretty quick, although I did get to enjoy some of the strawberry apple sauce my grandmother had sent me for the previous dayís mail drop.

Now, when we broke up into groups for the day I mustíve still been thinking about that apple sauce, because I sure wasnít thinking about the group I chose. I had this ingenious idea that I was going to ride with Drew, Logan, Tom, Dewey, and Jarred. For those who donít know, Drew is a triathlete, Logan and Dewey are very athletic, Tom is an experienced cyclist, and Jarred is a cross-country runner. I am built more like a refrigerator. So. About half a mile in, the uphills began and so did my day of chasing the other 5 guys on my team. Now, I ride much better and much faster when I have something to chase, but I was dripping sweat starting at mile 5 at 6:30 in the morning. The guys were good about it; they kept looking back to make sure I was still pedaling and never got too far ahead. The chases would last about 7 or 8 miles before I would catch up, and it was at a red light that I pulled up next to the other guys sucking wind. It was about this time that I dubbed our team for the day ďHoney, I Shrunk Robís EgoĒ.

The first water stop was 25 miles in; we wanted to people to go hard in the morning while it was still cool out. We had 118 miles to go that day in total, and it was supposed to be hot and humid. My entire uniform was saturated by the first water stop, and my skin was shiny from the water on it. It really was so humid that the sweat didnít evaporate. Regardless, we shoved off from the water stop and headed down the highway. Chris was driving that day and found us some Sonic burgers for lunch, which we got at mile 60. The day got psychologically hard after lunch. Normally, our days would be over in 20 more miles or so, but instead we were only half over. The rolling hills started to wear down our morale, and it had reached the hottest point of the day. That was the most intense feeling Iíd had on the trip at that point wanting to stop. We had gone 100 miles, completing our century just as we crossed the border into Kansas, and we still had 20 miles to go. Iím pretty sure I speak for everyone else on the team when I say I had stopped riding by my volition by that point; I was riding for my grandfather and all the other people to whom Iíd dedicated my ride.

By the grace of God, our van drivers, and Ronald McDonald, a very generous McDonaldís restaurant gave us all free ice cream with about 2 miles left in the day. A McFlurry, half of Tomís strawberry shake, and 84 ounces of sweet tea later, I finished out the longest day thus far on our trip with a terrible stomach ache. We were very psyched to see our host, the Paola Assembly of God Church. They had a very nice youth/rec center with air conditioning, showers, and a great dinner with chicken, rice, veggies and gravy (and a dynamite fruit cobbler with ice cream afterwards). All of us were exhausted and stuffed, but we all felt extremely accomplished for riding out such a hard day. I played a little foosball with Kara, called my mom, and I was finished. I donít think anyone had trouble falling asleep that night.