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In Her Memory

Lance Armstrong Challenge Race – Denise Stecconi
29 June 2008

Denise StecconiIt all started this summer, when I had decided to get off the couch and start riding my bike to work to get some exercise.  Given a busy work schedule and family duties it is easy to de-prioritize exercise. There are only 9 miles between my house and work. The first day  it took me a whole 1 hour and 15 minutes! This is how slow I was at the beginning of the summer, and not making a lot of progress. Until… I learned that the Lance Armstrong Challenge was going to happen on 6/29 (which coincidentally was my birthday – nothing is a coincidence, you could say). So, with the passing of Sandrita so recent, I decided to take up the challenge for their Oregon race. The Lance Armstrong Foundation runs races to raise funds to aid in the fight against cancer – they have 70 and 100 mile races, and the only condition to join one is that you help raise a minimum of $250. 70 miles looked incredibly daunting for me at the time, but with  the help of friends and family to raise the funds (special thanks go to Hernan, Claudia, Maracucho and Marjorie – we actually raised $300) and to train every weekend (thanks to Lisa, Greg, Frank and Janice), I made it! My family came down to Oregon to support me, which meant a lot to me while I was still processing Sandra’s departure.  It was a very emotive race – my friend Lisa lost her grandma and learned about it that day. We hugged and cried together and almost turned around on mile 21 (when Lisa got her phone call). But we decided to keep going. It was an amazing experience, and again showed us that with preparation, discipline and determination you can achieve great things, just like Sandra did while battling cancer. Thanks again Sandrita for being the inspiration for this accomplishment, and for helping fight the disease even after you are gone…I still miss you so much, but I know you are there somewhere...

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