She trained so hard, there was never a doubt she’d get it done.
On Saturday, September 3rd, Melanie Norris completed her 40 @ 40 epic to celebrate her 40th birthday and to raise money for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Mel also dedicated the day to the fathers of fellow bikers Shaun Alexander, Carla Mitchem, and Susan Martin. All three lost their dads to cancer during the past year.
Paul set the pace, Kelley did the sweeping, and Dave and I handled the driving. Mel’s job was to kick ass – and she did.
The first leg was 15.5 miles at Ape Canyon. Mel, Paul and Kelley headed out at 6:15, just as thing were really starting to brighten. Dave and I figured this would be our best chance to do some riding, so we pedaled to the viewpoint at the top of Ape Canyon, took some photos, and cruised back. The ride team did a great job. They arrived at 9:25, completing the initial segment in 3:10.
We headed down the 81 Road to Blue Lake. Dave and I dropped Mel, Paul and Kelley off at 10:18. They headed across the 238 Trail to Red Rock Pass and then down to the Kalama Horse Camp where we were waiting with the cars.
The heat was a factor on this 8.8 mile jaunt, which they finished at 12:17. Also, the final three miles to Horse Camp were very churny and there were plenty of equine friends out to celebrate the Labor Day weekend, all of which combined to create a little fatigue for the riders. Fortunately, their conditioning really paid off here.
We got to Falls Crek at about 1:30. Ryan, Jeff, Dara, Denise, Bob, Vaughn, Shane, Juntu and others arrived at about the same time and the entire crew headed out at 1:52. They sailed into the parking lot at the bottom at 4:24, after covering 17.1 miles.
Elapsed time was 10:09, with 7:41 on the bikes. It was a great day all around, with no mechanicals and stellar performances from the entire ride team. Mel did a fantastic job throughout the day and could easily have knocked off more mileage.
A large crowd of DOD and GGR riders and friends connected with the ride team for a post-ride celebration at Falls Creek. Thanks from Mel to everyone who attended and to all those who donated.
Mel ended up raising $3,000 for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, with nearly $1,000 coming from contributions from the dinner provided by Paul and the beer provided by Ken Pearson.