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Fueled by a passion for biking and a heart for children impacted by homelessness, Richard La China and Heidi Amundson ride “800 Miles in 8 Days” November 16-24 hoping to raise awareness and funds for Monarch School, a school for homeless kids in San Diego, California.
Their route starts at the Monarch School, traverses three states, rises up and over several mountains, across the desert and ends up back at the school.
Richard La China, a certified cycle coach, and girlfriend Heidi Amundson, a physical therapy aide, ride an average of 12.4 hours each day on 70-pound touring bikes (including gear). They cover 90-122 miles each day, climbing more than 35,000 feet, 100% self supported.
Why undergo such a grueling challenge? Much of their inspiration comes from witnessing another athletic challenge by local businessman, athlete and philanthropist Blair Cannon, who swam 28 miles from Catalina to the mainland to raise money for Monarch School last summer. Heidi met Blair while he was training for his swim at Evolve Physical Therapy where she works. She was fascinated and motivated by this amazing feat to benefit San Diego’s homeless students.
“When we began brainstorming ideas for a bicycle tour this year and decided to use it to support a cause, Blair immediately came to mind,” says Richard. After a phone call with Blair to discuss the idea, he made some introductions and put everything in motion.
“Doing these long supported tours reminds me of the obstacles I’ve overcome and how challenging life really can be. Riding for Monarch School is my way of giving back to all the people who helped me along the way. Knowing we’re riding for Monarch kept us focused, motivated, and on task to complete what became a 864-mile, 9-day bike ride."
Even though they rode 800 miles in 8 days (actually 864 miles, in 9 days), Richard and Heidi's adventure is not over yet. Please help them complete their mission of raising funds and awareness for the Monarch School by donating today.. monarch800.com
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