Mountains

Good cause, tough luck

By Ian MacLaren Journal staff writer

When bad luck interferes with good intentions, the frustration that follows is hard to quantify. For world record-holding cyclist Maria Parker, such frustration recently became very real.

While participating in the Race Across America to raise money for brain cancer research, Parker’s support vehicle was rear-ended near Tuba City on June 13. Although nobody was seriously injured in the accident, both the support vehicle and two bikes were totaled. As a result, Parker was forced to withdraw from the race, but will continue her ride in an unofficial capacity.

Once called “the world’s most grueling event” by Discovery News, the Race Across America is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement in both cycling circles and the greater sporting community.

Beginning in Oceanside, Calif., on June 11, the race requires riders to traverse 3,000 miles and climb 170,000 vertical feet before finishing in Annapolis, Md., sometime between June 20 and June 24. Parker was scheduled to travel through Cortez on June 14.

For Parker, the race was especially significant because it provided a platform to support her sister, Jenny Mulligan, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2012.

After her sister’s diagnosis, Parker founded an initiative known as “3000 miles to a Cure.” The purpose of Parker’s Race Across America was to raise money for the initiative. Those interested in information about Parker’s initiative, including information about how to donate, can visit 3000milestoacure.com. Interested people can also contact Carly Refearn by email at redfearncg@gmail.com or by phone at (910) 734-1016.

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