2014 Team Crosses the Finish Line
It’s official – the 2014 Texas 4000 crossed the finish line yesterday in Anchorage, Alaska after a 70-day journey from Austin, Texas! Putting their experiences into words is very difficult for the riders, and we’re finding it fairly challenging as staff members to capture and communicate the depth of who and what we’ve just witnessed.
We had the humbling pleasure of joining the team on the evening of day 69 for a special ride dedication circle. Five hours of riders reflecting on their summer – the friendships they’ve made, the ways they’ve grown and changed as individuals, the lessons they’ve learned, and the original reasons why they joined Texas 4000. Included below are pictures from the last few days and quotes from these exceptional young adults.
DAY 65: The Alaska Border
DAY 70: Morning Ride Dedication Circle
DAY 70: Mirror Lake Rest Stop
DAY 70: Lining Up to Finish
DAY 70: Crossing the Finish Line
DAY 70: One Last Group Hug
In Their Own Words
“Before the summer, I felt my time slip away from me. Everyday on the bike, even when it’s moments where you are counting down the miles till you are done, you are still experiencing every single second. My emotions poured into the pedal strokes, and I could feel my life in its entirety. Through the miserable days, the tears, the anger, the happiness, my life was filled for 70 days. I’ve learned to appreciate the bad days, because at least you are feeling something, at least you are alive for the pain. I’ve learned to grasp to the good days…to close your eyes, smell the wind, feel the gravel and the cold water…be present. I am going to always move forward, otherwise there is no way you’re reaching Alaska. Change is what makes us alive; change of the heart, mind, career, attitude, perspective …I will not survive without change.” – Rachel “Madi” Madison
“This journey has taught me so much — I’ve learned how to love fearlessly and embrace every moment! With determination — everything is possible. I biked from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska.” – Kitty Ho
“Honestly, I can’t describe how important this time has been for me and the team. Hearing what this ride has meant to each of my teammates has been incredible; everyone has grown and changed during the ride in their own way. In fact, that is partly what binds us together, that each of us has had a unique life-changing experience on this ride.” – Austin Baker, reflecting on Day 69 ride dedications
“It’s Day 70, and I have officially ended my journey from Austin, TX to Anchorage, AK. I cannot put words to how much this summer meant to me and how much it changed my life. The people who surrounded me every day inspired me without end and also taught how to love deeper. I cannot imagine any other way to have spent my summer, and I wouldn’t change a single thing.” – Teddie Owen
Thank you for playing a role in supporting these incredible students. They sacrificed a great deal to share hope, knowledge, and charity from Texas to Alaska and beyond, touching thousands of lives along the way. We appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time to read this email and for helping us fulfill our mission to cultivate student leaders and engage communities in the fight against cancer.
Jen Garza, Lance Pyburn, Kathryn Flowers
Texas 4000 Staff
P.S. Tickets to our Tribute Gala on August 23, 2014 are going quickly! Please register today to make sure you have a spot for this unforgettable event celebrating the accomplishments of our 2014 Team.