Meet First-Time Empire State Rider Ann Seyboldt
Ann Seyboldt moved to Buffalo New York in 1996 after growing up and living in nine different cities, and hasn’t left since. With a degree in Electrical Engineering from Valparaiso University and a Masters in Business from Canisius College, she works in Praxair’s R&D organization as a Senior Technology Business Analyst. Ann is active in the community as treasurer for her church and as president of the board for two local not-for-profit organizations: Computers For Children and The Canisius College Masters of Business Alumni Association. She and her husband have five children.
Q: How did you find out about the Empire State Ride?
I heard about it from Terry Bourgeois, my colleague at Praxair, a couple of years ago when this ride was just a dream.
Q: What inspired you to sign up?
First and foremost: I love a challenge. And then I had some friends encouraging me to train for another marathon, and some other friends encouraging me to sign up for the Empire State Ride. I decided on the Empire State Ride because it supports a cause close to home, and because its easier on my knees (I think!)
The cause is close to home because I lost both of my fathers to cancer. My birth father to lung cancer when he was 61 years old, and my stepfather to liver cancer as a complication to Hepatitis C (reference my fundraising page for that story). They were both such strong sources of love and strength in my life.
Q: What is your history as a cyclist? Have you ever done anything similar to the Empire State Ride?
I bought my bike about 15 years ago so I could compete in triathlons – because I really wanted to quit smoking (after having smoked in high school and quitting, I picked it up AGAIN in the stressful wake of being left a single parent in a city that was new to me) and I thought hanging out with triathletes would do the trick. That, along with the education of a smoking cessation class at Roswell Park, did the trick. Since then, the biggest endurance events I’ve completed are a marathon, and a couple of half Ironmans. Those were a while back – so please don’t be fooled into thinking I’m in that good of shape!
I’ve never done anything similar to the Empire State Ride, and to be honest I’m nervous about making it all the way. People I know who have done similar rides have had a great time on them, and they tell me it will be no problem for me.
Q: How are you fundraising for the ride?
I’ve updated my page and shared on Facebook a couple of times. I’m about 50% there – so need to give another push soon, which I will do with e-mail. It seems like every time I send an e-mail out, a few pledges come in. I’m inspired by the “in memory of” and “in support of” donations. I’ll carry those names with me on the ride.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish by raising funds and completing the ride?
I hope to be part of bringing a cure for cancer one step closer to reality, to be a stronger, braver cyclist, and to grow some enduring friendships.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about the ride?
The camaraderie, the views, the sense of conquering a challenge every day. Some really good laughter with some amazing people.