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Obliteride: why do we ride?


Hawaiian shirts and cancer research don’t often go hand-in-hand. For GLY’s Obliteride team, the combination is an inspiration. The hibiscus flowers on the 2017 team jerseys are in honor of Jerry Cochrun, Sr., a Superintendent and Project Manager at GLY for 27 years who showed his joie de vivre by wearing Hawaiian shirts at every opportunity. To mark his enduring legacy, GLY contributed $5,000 to Fred Hutch in 2016 when we lost Jerry to pancreatic cancer.

This year we went even bigger. Bryce Taylor led the charge to set-up our own team, GLYrides4cure, and the participants blew past their $10,000 goalraising over $21,000 for research at Fred Hutch in honor of not only Jerry, but others in the GLY family who battled cancer.

The mission, to eliminate cancer and related diseases, is the common thread tying together the cyclists and the communities they ride through for one weekend each August. Before that weekend arrives there’s fund-raising and training to accomplish. We asked our riders, “What gave you energy to reach the finish line?”

Keith McManus, Project Manager [150 m | 2 days] Riding gave me the opportunity to contribute to finding a cure so my daughters won’t have to worry about losing anyone they love to cancer. The distance and course was challenging but no match for the fight others are going through.

Tim Teteak, Senior Project Manager [50 m | 1 day] I chose to ride because I’m a cancer survivor. Nobody wants to hear his/her doctor say “sorry, you have cancer.” Riding 50 milessmall as it may begave me a chance to help researchers find cures and treatments to the many cancers confronting us today. As I struggled to make it up a few hills, I thought of cancer patients and their uphill struggles. This made my hills seem miniscule in comparison and gave me the strength to climb and push on. I will ride again next year.

obliteride start line

Peter Brask and Jeff Richards start their 50 mile Obliteride journey. Photo courtesy of Obliteride.

Keith McManus in Obliteride

Keith McManus stays strong on day 2 of the 150 mile Obliteride course. Photo courtesy of  Obliteride.

Peter Brask, Project Engineer [50 m | 1 day] As part of the GLY Seattle Cancer Care Alliance [SCCA] project team, I joined Team GLYrides4cure to learn more about Fred Hutch and ride with my teammates. My grandmother passed away from cancer when I was a kid, and my good friend’s dad was diagnosed with cancer the week before Obliteride, which really hit home. Riding alongside my teammates made for an awesome first bike race experiencenot to mention, it gave me the opportunity to reflect on my friend’s dad, grandmother and others who are battling cancer. A glimpse into the work Fred Hutch is doing makes me optimistic on the future of cancer treatment, and I’m looking forward to riding again next year.

Jim Elliott, Principal [50 m | 1 day] I rode in memory of Jerry and to support three of my close friends who have family members recently diagnosed with different types of cancer. Working on the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance [SCCA] project team over the last year opened my eyes to the incredible work that SCCA and Fred Hutch do. These institutions are world leaders in cancer treatment, and we are fortunate to live in such close proximity to their research and treatment programs. We all know someone who has been affected by cancerit’s important for us to support Fred Hutch and the necessary research and clinical trials to find a cure for cancer.

Obliteride 50 Mile

Mark Kane, Principal + COO [50 m | 1 day] Cancer has taken or severely impacted the lives of close family members, friends and work associates, all who are very near and important to me. To say I hate cancer is an understatement. Every year since its inception, Fred Hutchinson’s Obliteride gives me the chance to support the much-needed research to end cancer once and for all. As a community event, survivors, those currently battling cancer, and those hoping never to experience cancer’s devastation come together around the same cause: ending cancer sooner. This energetic camaraderie inspires those left saddened by this awful disease. I support Obliteride for the hope of a better future. Fred Hutchinson is our best tool in this battle, and I am happy to support such a worthwhile organization.

Bryce Taylor, Project Executive [50 m | 1 day] Obliteride is so much more than a bike ride. Cancer most likely touches every rider in some waywhether it is knowing someone suffering from the disease, losing someone, or surviving cancer him/herself. Each rider truly makes a personal statement when they sign up.

obliteride start line

Cyclists gather at the start line of the 150 mile course.

Keith McManus in Obliteride

Chef Tom Douglas mans the grill during the Obliteride Gasworks Kick-off party.

Ryan Weeger, Project Manager [50 m | 1 day] As I thought of family and friends who have dealt with cancer and how it affected their lives, training and raising funds to aid in the search for a cure was a no brainer. Joining fellow coworkers who were training and fundraising towards the same goal was really motivating and inspiring as well.

Jeff Richards, Project Engineer [50 m | 1 day] My cousin, who would have just turned 21, died from cancer when she was young. The mission at Fred Hutch is important and is a cause worth our time and support. I rode for children like my cousin.

Myron Ramirez, Project Engineer [50 m | 1 day] My uncle was just diagnosed with cancerinspiring me to participate in Obliteride. Thinking about his long battle ahead motivated me to keep pushing through the challenging course.