Sunday, 18 June 2017 21:56

Over 1500 ride in 33rd Annual Trek Across Maine Featured

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BELFAST - For over 30 years, the Trek Across Maine has taken cyclists from the mountains to the sea.

"Now it's official," said John Poirier, captain of Team Union Street Athletics of Bangor. "I've completed the Trek Across Maine."

Over 1500 rode in the 33rd Annual Trek Across Maine, starting Friday at the Sunday River Ski Resort and finishing Sunday in Belfast.

"It's a nice ride," said Todd Belaire, of Greene.

"It's always satisfying to come in and know you've done a good thing," said Deb Belaire, of Greene.

It's the largest fundraising event for the American Lung Association in the nation, raising over $25 million to date.

"Without the funds raised in these events, we couldn't do our advocacy work, in the statehouse in Augusta or in D.C.," said Lance Boucher, Public Policy Director of the American Lung Association, "to prevent youth tobacco use, encourage research, funding for lung cancer patients at the National Institute of Health."

Some took on the 180-mile ride for the first time.

"We decided to give it a whirl," said Betty Decker, of Bangor.

Others haven't skipped a Trek since it began over 30 years ago.

"I was 25 years old in 1985 when I started doing the Trek Across Maine," said Scott Cowger, of Hallowell. "Its been a wonderful opportunity to get in shape ever year, but also support the American Lung Association."

Each rider was thinking of someone along the way.

"Both my wife and I have lost parents to lung disease, so that's the primary reason why we ride," said Poirier.

"I do this for my students at school who have asthma," said Barbara Godfrey, of Gardiner.

"I had a lot of family members die from cancer, and lung issues," said Patrick Decker, of Bangor.

"If we can bring awareness somehow to the cause and raise some money, we're in it," said Betty Decker.

While the Trek can be exhausting, most are already looking towards the future.

"We're glad it's done, but it always goes so fast," said Poirier.

"We've already signed up for next year," said Betty Decker.

"I'm not stopping at all, 'til my body won't do it any longer," said Cowger. "I look forward to the 34th Trek Across Maine, maybe the 50th Trek Across Maine. Let's keep going."