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Riding across Colorado for a cause

Posted at 10:53 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 07:56:23-04

The wheels are spinning again for Team USA and for these competitors, there is no better feeling.

"This idea kind of came together, super excited just to have something to work towards but also to find a way to give back to our community," paratriathlete Hailey Danz said.

While the Tokyo Games are on the back burner, Olympic and Paralympic competitors have turned their attention to another opponent: COVID-19.

"I think everyone is really excited to take on the challenge and hopefully meet the expectations, I think that is really the only question if it can be accomplished," paratriathlete Allysa Seely said.

Starting Friday, three teams of three riders will start a 24-hour trek from the Utah to Kansas borders, riding 483 miles through Colorado at nearly 21 mph.

"We're all athletes, we're competitive by nature," paratriathlete Kendall Gretsch said. "When you have a lofty goal it's definitely pushing yourself to train extra hard."

The charity ride, known as Operation CO>COVID, will benefit the USA Triathlon Foundation and Share and Care food banks, helping those most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Racing the sun as opposed to racing in Tokyo but we're excited to do it as a part of a team," paratriathlete Melissa Stockwell said. "The goal is to do it in 24 hours just to give back to something we feel very strongly about."

A chance to put the pedal to the medal for a great cause, while they await next summer's Olympic return.

"We're missing that so now we're going to be back, that comradery as a team, pushing each other on, just as we do in a race," Stockwell said.

"It has been a little bit different but that too has been a lot of fun, to kind of spice things up and do something completely out of our wheelhouse," Danz said.

If you'd like to make a donation or learn more about the charity bike ride, click on the link: Operation CO>COVID