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2017 Empire State Rider: Alan Kurtz

From Running to Cycling: Meet 2017 Rider Alan Kurtz

Alan is coming all the way from his hometown in Florida to take part in the Empire State Ride. Learn why he decided to make the trip north — and what he’s most looking forward to about the seven-day adventure.

How did you find out about the Empire State Ride?

I saw a “suggested page” show up on Facebook. I’m not sure why, but I am so glad it did!

What inspired you to sign up?

I finally found a challenging ride that supports cancer research. I lost my father to cancer 33 years ago, and just lost my mother-in-law in April 2016. I am doing this to honor both of their legacies.

What is your history as a cyclist?

I completed eight marathons, including the Boston Marathon, and was training for my ninth when I blew out my hip during a training run. After having arthroscopic surgery in 2002 to correct the torn labrum and cartilage damage, I took up cycling as a form of physical therapy. I could never get back to the level of running I was accustomed to, but I got hooked on cycling.

Have you ever done anything similar to the Empire State Ride?

I am a 13-year veteran of the Bike MS: Breakaway to Key Largo, a two-day, 150-mile ride. I have not done anything to the extent of a seven-day ride of this distance and with these hills! South Florida is too flat!

How are you fundraising for the ride?

I will be sending emails and letters to prior supporters of my MS rides. I will also be supported by my own personal donations and company matching of my donations.

What do you hope to accomplish by raising funds and completing the ride?

First and foremost, I hope to raise much needed funds to help push cancer research further! Secondly, I hope to just be able to complete the ride and at the end, look upwards and say to my dad and mother-in-law, “thank you for pulling me to the finish!”

What are you most looking forward to about the ride?

From what I have read on Facebook and on the Empire State Ride website, the ride is not only about beautiful scenery and a great challenge, but it is about becoming family with my fellow riders who have the same hope and goal in mind — to help put an end to this terrible disease. I am looking forward to meeting new friends and knowing that I have helped make a difference in the lives of those suffering from cancer.