Spots are still open for Ride 4 Yellow in Steamboat

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Ride 4 Yellow keynote speaker Amy Dodson was featured on this month’s cover of Runner’s World magazine.

Past Event

Steamboat Ride 4 Yellow

  • Sunday, August 7, 2011, 7:30 a.m.
  • Steamboat Ski Area, Mount Werner Road, Steamboat Springs
  • Not available / $75 - $100

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Volunteers needed

A volunteer work day to help clear remaining snow drifts from the Continental Divide and Mountain View trails on the Routt National Forest is Saturday. A crew of 50 volunteers is needed to help clear the trail for the second annual Ride 4 Yellow to be held Aug. 7. Ride 4 Yellow is a fundraiser for local and global cancer initiatives.

Volunteers should meet in the Meadows Parking Lot at 9 a.m. Saturday. Bring a dirt shovel (preferably with a metal blade), bug spray, work gloves, water, food and a rain jacket.

— The featured speaker at this year’s Aug. 7 Ride 4 Yellow fundraiser in Steamboat Springs has battled cancer four times and lost part of her lung and left leg as a result. She’s also gone on to become one of the world’s most elite amputee athletes.

As a young girl, doctors discovered cancer in the arch of Amy Dodson’s left foot. They removed the tumor, but it returned when she was 16 and again when she was 19. Her leg was amputated.

“Believe it or not, I actually felt relief when I learned I faced amputation,” Dodson wrote in a Livestrong Foundation blog. “If I gave up the leg, I would give up the pain.”

A year after graduating college, the cancer returned. This time it was in her lung.

“I had the lower left lobe of my lung removed and listened to a doctor tell me that maybe I’d be among the lucky 10 percent who survived,” she said.

Dodson kept her survival story to herself for 10 years and wore pants to mask her amputated leg.

“My ‘secret’ finally caught up with me and I had to go through post-traumatic stress syndrome a decade after my diagnosis because I hadn’t faced the biggest trauma of my life,” Dodson said.

She then discovered running.

“Ten years after modern medicine saved my life ... running literally saved it again,” Dodson wrote.

She began distance running in the late 1990s and has since become one of the world’s top amputee runners and triathletes, having won two world championships for the U.S. Paratriathlon team. She is on the cover of this month’s issue of Runner’s World magazine.

Just last week Dodson experienced a setback in her athletic career when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced a six-month suspension for using a banned substance at a recent 50-kilometer race. Dodson told The Associated Press she didn’t realize an over-the-counter weight-management product she had taken contained a banned substance.

Ride 4 Yellow organizers think her inspirational story of survival and success is fitting for this year’s event, and they feel fortunate to have her coming to Steamboat as the event’s keynote speaker.

“Amy is an inspiration. She has overcome extraordinary odds against cancer to achieve extraordinary accomplishments,” Ride 4 Yellow founder and Steamboat Springs lawyer David Nagel said. “We’re all exposed to making mistakes — even innocent mistakes — and that’s what makes us human, or even superhuman. We’re proud to have Amy join us at the Ride 4 Yellow and look forward to a fantastic event.”

Those who want to hear Dodson speak but can’t participate in the Aug. 7 mountain bike ride can purchase separate Post-Ride Celebration tickets for $32 for adults or $20 for children 12 and younger. The tickets include a gondola ride to Thunderhead and a buffet-style picnic lunch.

With this year’s 26-mile mountain bike charity ride just a little more than a week away, organizers are trying to fill remaining rider slots, and committed riders are trying to meet or exceed their $500 fundraising promise. Riders have until Sept. 15 to raise money.

And believe it or not, ride organizers are having to deal with snow. A full-out volunteer recruiting drive is under way to get people onto the Continental Divide Trail this Saturday to shovel the snow drifts that remain on parts of the trail.

Last year’s inaugural Ride 4 Yellow event raised more than $300,000. Net proceeds were split evenly between Livestrong and local cancer initiatives.

About half of the 200 rider slots available have been filled. The event’s website at www.ride4yellow.com was reporting riders have raised $66,000 so far.

An inaugural Ride 4 Yellow Ball is from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at Marabou Ranch. The event features live music by Loose Change, dinner, drinks and a silent auction. Tickets are $65, and all proceeds benefit Ride 4 Yellow and its grants committee. Tickets are available at ball.ride4yellow.com.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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