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  • 3 Feb 2018 11:23 PM | Anne Marslender

    With your generous support and encouragement, I completed 100 miles for the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Amelia Island, Florida!   

    Wonderful. Beautiful. Joyful.  And so hot!

    This was my second JDRF Ride, both overall and this year, and I thought I knew what to expect. 




    Though the ride agenda was the same, the ride itself and the experience was very different for me. 


    We flew instead of drove which meant bike transport logistics, packing differences, and bus to the resort.  It seemed to happen so fast! Once I’d checked in and retrieved my bike, I spent some time relaxing and exploring and grabbing some much needed food.  The ride location was centered on the resort, which was right on the beach offering some beautiful views and a much different feel than La Crosse’s city setting.  The view from my room was amazing. 


    Thursday’s welcome dinner and camaraderie were great!  It was such a nice way to relax and meet people.  We had a beautiful full moon which was breathtaking to see over the beach and through the swaying palm trees near the pool.  Many of the riders gathered outside in the evening near the fire pits to chat and get to know each other. It was fun meeting others and hearing so many stories.  



    Friday dawned early, and, after the mandatory safety meeting, it was off for a quick tune up ride to ensure our bikes were ready to go for Saturday.  

    It was a nice short ride through the resort grounds, and a great way to loosen up. Later, Friday’s pre-ride Dinner Celebration and Awards, was emotional and inspiring!  I met even more people, learning why they ride.  So many youth riders were there!  I am in awe of their determination and commitment, as well as their parents who ride with them.  They ride for themselves, their siblings, and their friends to find a cure and to make life better.  Their parents who ride with them inspire me with their courage; it must be scary sometimes, to not only allow, but encourage your child to tackle a long ride while managing their disease.  Gary, one of my Indiana teammates, was officially honored during the celebration with his Silver Jersey for riding in 10 JDRF Rides!  WOW.  After a wonderful dinner, it was off to bed.  Tomorrow was the big day.

    The weather looked great- no more rain in the forecast- YAY!

        

    We rode out near the front with the first group.  It was already very warm.  For a bit we rode under a canopy of oaks which were so beautiful and so unusual for Florida.  It also provided some welcome shade.  As we turned out of the resort and rode along the A4, the sun continued to rise over the ocean.  I hadn’t anticipated having such a view as we rode.  Such an unexpected wonder!  We rode through a state park where the tree cover was so cooling. It was so quiet, perfect for the morning.

    This ride was very flat (except for the bridges! Oh the bridges!) and very hot.  I was soaked through in the first 15 miles. The temps continued to climb – 80° temps and 80% humidity! I made friends with Irene from the Danish team.  We chatted along the way and encouraged each other.  I would see her multiple times over the 100 miles. 


      The first 75 miles were some of my fastest ever for a long ride!  Later I started to get tired…did I mention the bridges? And it was now windy especially at the top of some of the bridges.  On the last one before we started on the last leg of the ride, I actually had to pedal to go downhill!   Finally, though, the wind was at our backs, and only 15 miles to go.


    With lots of encouragement, I rode in…WOW!  Pure joy.  I did it- again! We were some of the first riders in, that was a first for me, and an incredible feeling!
    I couldn’t have done this without you –Thank you for sharing the journey and joy with me as we seek a cure!  As I close out 2018, I can’t help but look forward to 2019 and more rides to come!



  • 3 Feb 2018 5:32 PM | Gary Martindale (Administrator)

    Thank you for your generous support of JDRF through my rides over the past 10 years. During that time we have seen significant progress in the search for a cure.


    I was originally scheduled to ride in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Sadly, my father passed away in early August and I was unable to join the team for the La Crosse ride.


    With excellent support from the JDRF ride program, I was able to change locations and ride my tenth ride at the Amelia Island venue in October. Below is a quick visual summary of the ride… details follow if interested...


    As with past rides, the weekend began with a flight on Thursday - this time a hop to Atlanta and then to Jacksonville followed by a 45-minute shuttle ride to the island. Although the Jacksonville, FL area was affected by hurricane Irma, only occasional piles of debris were evidence of the storm. The weather all weekend was hot and muggy with a threat of rain. The surf was high with powerful waves stirred up by storms over the Atlantic. The hotel was a lovely setting with fire pits in the pool area where the riders congregated at night to tell stories and share good cheer.


    Ride day had everyone in high spirits as we made our way out of the resort and meandered through the side streets on the north part of the island. We enjoyed downtown Fernandina and a state park at the north end of the island. Incredibly, the humidity was so high in the early morning that my sunglasses were fogged over for most of the first 25 miles.


    We looped the island twice with the more residential north sections shaded by trees. The south sections introduced a head wind along with the heat and humidity, increasing the difficulty significantly. On the second pass, some riders were cooling off with chilly water from a garden hose at one of the rest stops. At the southern-most turnaround, I was reminded of Death Valley - the sun was hot, the road was hot, and there was no shelter


    Repeating sections of the course meant passing lots of riders going in the opposite direction. It was fun to yell encouragement to each other across the road. I completed 104 miles in just under 6 hours. Later I learned that we were among the first riders in and that Anne, one of my Indiana teammates, was the first woman to complete the 100-mile course. Way to go Anne!


    Emotions tend to run high at JDRF rides and this one was no exception. The highlight was meeting other riders and hearing their stories. This year was marked by Type 1 riders, including some teens who raised the money to attend. Also a highlight was Jack, a 90-year old Type-1 rider who won the coveted polka dot Spirit Jersey. He was the same rider who was the top fundraiser in Death Valley a few years ago. Wow… What an inspiration!


    Many thanks, as always, for sharing in my ride; I truly appreciate your generous support of JDRF. I may have been the one pedaling, but I carried your thoughts, prayers and support with me on each mile. I would not have made it without you.


  • 5 Sep 2017 8:48 PM | Anne Marslender

    Dear friends and family,

    With your generous support and encouragement, I completed my first 100 miles for the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in La Crosse, Wisconsin!   

    Inspiring. Amazing. Emotional.   

    The weekend began with a fun road trip to La Crosse, Wisconsin with six of us from the Indiana State JDRF Team: Kevin Garner, Jim Malone, Matt Kriech, John Harkey and Maureen Mullen.                                                               

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    Golden Oreos and Coke Zero offset laughter-filled misdirection and some slow traffic!  We stopped at Fair Oaks (a first for me) for a quick break and had tasty grilled cheese sandwiches.  We arrived late Thursday, registered, and checked in our bikes. Our bikes were stored together in one large room…it was motivating to see so many in one place for one reason.  We visited the local brewery and were off to a nice welcome dinner by JDRF.  Heading to bed early was a must after a long day.

    Friday started out with breakfast and the Ride Safety Meeting…a little longer and more detailed than Coach Kevin’s normal pre-ride safety talk! The team tune-up ride was wonderful.  Sunny but cool temperatures, gorgeous scenery, and a short ride through UWLC.  

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    It was a great pre-ride dinner celebration on Friday evening. 

    One of our team members, Meredith Shevitz, was honored as one of the top 5 fundraisers for the La Crosse Ride.  Gary Martindale was honored with his JDRF Silver Jersey for riding in more than 10 JDRF rides …the whole team whooped and hollered, even though Gary couldn’t be there.  The team gave Kevin Garner a big shout out as the Indiana State Team Coach.  We raised more the $1.5 million on this ride alone!  It is making a difference…there were riders with the artificial pancreas, more youth riders than last year, and more than 190 new riders. 

    Saturday morning – Ride Day – dawned early with a 4am alarm!

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    We met as a group for breakfast at 5 and then set off for the bike room to get ready.  We were lucky enough to be in the front row as we waited for the ride to start. What an experience! The morning was beautiful…cool, mid 50s, and with a light mist settled over the Mississippi River.

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    The ride was more than I imagined…we were focused on maintaining an even pace in a single file line, and yet trying to warm up.  The beautiful light mist over the river developed into a much heavier fog as the ride started, keeping visibility to a minimum. It clouded our glasses, bathed us in a light sheen of water, and made us more than a bit chilly!

    We stayed together.

    The sun climbed higher, and the fog dissipated.  We warmed up.  The beauty of Wisconsin unfolded in front of us: the green hills, the swirling waters of the Mississippi River,  the reflection of the sun as it shone through the trees to the river... even the roar of the trains! It was breathtaking.

    We stayed together.

    The ride would take us through parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.  It was relatively flat with small hills here and there…until about mile 45 and the middle loop to head back towards the start.  Then began the hills….who knew Iowa was hilly? There was a long slow hill to start…energy zapping! Then a few rolling hills…and then the big one!  We reached the top!  One of the supporters greeted us “You’ve reached the top.  It’s all downhill from here!”  NOT! I have a completely different definition of downhill than she did J…there were a few more hills to go. The downhills were fast and the rumble strips were bumpy! 

    And we stayed together.

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    We were more than halfway…and I was hungry and getting tired. Have I mentioned the SAG stops?  And the wonderful supporters?  PBJs, pickles, cookies (including Fig Newtons!), and lots and lots of water.  Everyone was very nice and so helpful!  We’d stop, fuel up, get in line, and GO!  They became even more important this late in the ride.

    At 75 miles, my legs were hurting…I wanted to keep going. Someone reminded me as I left for the ride, “You’ve got this!”, and I kept saying it …over and over in my head.  I reminded myself of the people who helped me get here.  Gary who inspired me with his Death Valley rides and blogs, and encouraged me when I so needed it.  Kevin who stuck with me through flat tires, upended seats, and a few tears. The team!  The humor and camaraderie that made the training rides so much fun.  Cycling tips from all!  Learning more about T1D.  Now more than team mates… friends and family. 

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    The countdown of the last 10 miles… we turned out of the wind…yay! It was easier and the excitement of the finish line was so near.  All of a sudden there it was!  We rode over the finish line…together, as a team.  The tears!  The emotions…so overwhelming to be a part of something so, so amazing!  I don’t think I can describe what this ride meant to me.  I was so inspired…I want to ride again NOW.   I definitely want to do it again… sooner than I originally thought!

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    Thank you again for your truly generous support in my fundraising efforts and for supporting me on my ride.  Together we did this, and together we are making a difference!

    Warm regards,

    Anne

  • 11 Mar 2015 8:33 AM | Anonymous

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  • 11 Mar 2015 7:36 AM | Anonymous

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