Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Philly Phase One... Century Eve.

The Philly LIVESTRONG Challenge 2009 is over. It turned out to be more than just a ride, it was an epic weekend.

The weekend starts as we caravan with Todd and Katie to the hotel. We arrived in Philly around 2:00 pm hoping that we'd have a room. As you know, there was some major confusion surrounding our hotel room but after I gently persuaded the GM Tony to see if there was anything he could do, we wound up getting a room. Note - a room. Chad and Clint got bumped from their room, so while we did have a roof over our heads, we were now packing that room like a post prom party. Chad, Clint, Lauren, Jed, Becky and myself would be sharing the cozy Doubletree room. Since I did the bitching that got us in the hotel, Becky and I got the bed by default I guess. Logically, Clint and Lauren took the pull out sofa as they are going steady, which left Chad and Jed to duke it out over the air mattress that we brought along. Chad won the coin toss and left Jed to sleep on the sofa cushions. Did I mention that we also stuffed five bikes and luggage for six in this room. Classic.
With sleeping arrangements all set, we set out to the LIVESTRONG Village to pick up our registration packets. It was a bit muddy, but we got our bibs and goodies and headed back to the hotel.
The Riders - me, Chad, Clint, Lauren, Todd and Jed.
At this point we were all feeling pretty good. They treated us like gold, cheering and clapping as they announced our fundraising totals to the masses as we registered. We made it back to the hotel in time to get ready for the LIVESTRONG Fundraising Appreciation Dinner. And by "get ready", I of course mean, put on the most ridiculous outfit I've ever worn out in public. Being that we were representing Team Fatty at this dinner, we were told to wear our Team Jerseys. Normally not something that is to be worn to a business casual dinner, but OK, I'll go with it. Now, what can possibly compliment a tight lycra bike jersey you ask. My answer... sear sucker pants, what else. Oh ya, check this out.
The dinner itself was amazing. It really brought home why we were all here. Sure they had a sick spread of delicious pastas, breads, salads, desserts, and an open beer and wine bar, but the meat of the night was the presentations. John "College" Korioth, Lance's good friend and an original member of the Foundation spoke and lead us through the night. He gave an insightful view on how the LAF really helps people and their loved ones find their way through cancer, and really made us feel proud of the work we did to help out. (really you guys deserve the credit)Lance's friend and good rider in his own right, College. We'd see more of him tomorrow.

Then it was time for team Fatty to take over. We won all the awards that they gave out and as such they gave our leader Elden the floor for about 20 minutes, and he was great. It took an amazing amount of courage and strength to get up there so recently after Susan passed, but he inspired and moved a lot of people that night, and I'm sure Susan would be proud.

Amos Lee got up and did a private little show as well which was cool and the keynote speaker was Ethan Zohn, the winner of Survivor Africa, and recently was diagnosed with a rare kind of Hodgkin's disease. A great guy and good speaker, he had us thinking and laughing and delivered a great speech.

The only downer of the night was that it was over so soon. Before we knew it, we were raiding the dessert table for treats to take back to the hotel. I guess there was one more little downer. The dinner was in this amazing restored powerhouse. It was really well done, but you could tell that the up and coming revitalization of the area was a little more coming and a little less up. Maybe in five or ten years it'll be a neighborhood that won't terrify you after dark, but for now, lets just say I've never been so happy to see an on ramp for Interstate 95 in my life. Yikes.

More dinner pics...

Chad's name in lights.About to chow

The Frost boys do the LIVESTRONG "red carpet".

We got safely back to the hotel and fought off the pre-ride jitters to try and get some sleep. We we due in the lobby of the hotel at 5:45 am to roll out as a team, plus we were riding 100 miles the next day, so some rest was important.

Speaking of rest, you must be tired from reading this ginormous post and I'm not even to the ride yet. Fair enough. This is clearly a two poster. The suspense will eat at you I know, but try to stay to stay focused tomorrow at work. Phase Two of the post to come tomorrow. It was a heck of a ride, you won't want to miss it.


  1. Hi!
    I rode the Philly ride too and have decided to head on to Austin and continue the fight. Any chance you could help me by spreading the word on this auction I'm doing to raise money? I'm auctioning off a set of bright pink tires everyone loved in Philly.
    Info is here:
    Thank you for any help you can give me. WIN!!

  2. Hey Jenni,

    I'll be happy to mention the fundraiser. Can't say that I even remotely have the kind of pull that Fatty does, (I got none really) but I'm psyched for you that you're taking on Austin and am glad to help out any way that I can. I'll put up a post tomorrow.


  3. Hi,

    I'm thinking about doing Livestrong Phily this year; where did you folks end up staying? I know a Doubletree but which one? Gotta try to figure out arrangements since I'd be coming from Hawai'i. Thanks!


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