Kelly Brush Ride to mark its 10th year, registration deadline is Sept. 9
MIDDLEBURY — The Kelly Brush Century Ride will roll out of Middlebury on Sept. 12, celebrating 10 years of cyclists riding to empower those living with paralysis through sport and recreation and to improve ski racing safety.
Named “Best Century Ride in Vermont” by Vermont Sports magazine, last year’s event drew more than 700 riders. The ride is also the region’s largest for adaptive athletes using handcycles, with dozens of participants taking part annually.
“Thanks to the generosity of the thousands of riders who have participated in the ride over the past decade, the Kelly Brush Foundation has made a positive difference in the lives of those living with spinal cord injury. The foundation has also raised awareness about and improved ski racing safety nationally,” said Kelly Brush Foundation Executive Director Zeke Davisson.
With the ride as its signature fundraising event, the foundation has raised more than $2 million and purchased more than 300 pieces of adaptive sports equipment. In addition, the foundation has purchased more than 400 miles of racecourse safety netting, funded trail-widening projects and worked with ski clubs and teams across the country to raise awareness about ski racing safety.
The foundation’s programs include grants for adaptive sports equipment. One of those recipients was Jordan Carrell of Burlington, who was paralyzed in 2006 in a snowboarding accident. He received a grant for a specially designed sit ski that allowed him to get back to the sport he loves, which had a profound impact on his quality of life and helped him feel normal again, he said.
“The moment I realized I was paralyzed and the chance was I would never get back up on the mountain was really difficult because this is very much part of my life,” Carrell said. “Being able to get back on the mountain makes a huge difference physically and even socially.”
Lead sponsor VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations is honored to help the foundation celebrate the ride’s 10th anniversary, said Gregg Marston, president of VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations.
“We are proud to be part of an event that brings together so many cyclists for a rewarding and fun spin through some of the most scenic cycling on the planet,” Marston said. “VBT is proud to be alongside the Kelly Brush Foundation celebrating a decade of cycling for a great cause.”
Fully supported with water and food stops throughout, the ride offers gently rolling terrain with views of the Green Mountains to the east and Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains to the west over several distance options: 25, 50 or 100 miles, with cutoff options of 65 or 85 miles. Riders and teams of riders compete to raise the most money with prizes for reaching fundraising goals. The ride ends with a tasty and festive barbecue. Online registration closes at midnight on Sept. 9. Riders may register from 7 to 9 a.m. at the event.
The ride was started by the Middlebury College Ski Team in 2006 as a way to buy an adaptive monoski and handcycle for team member Kelly Brush Davisson, who was paralyzed as the result of a ski racing crash. The next year the ride was opened to the public, with proceeds used to support the foundation’s mission.
Registration and more information are online at www.kellybrushfoundation.org.
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