Thou­sands raise mil­lions in an­nual Mi­ami Dol­phins Can­cer Chal­lenge

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Local - By Wayne K. Rous­tan wkrous­[email protected]­tinel.com or 954-356-4303 or Twit­ter @WayneRous­tan

An es­ti­mated 5,000 cy­clists, run­ners, walk­ers and sup­port­ers took part in the 9th an­nual Mi­ami Dol­phins Can­cer Chal­lenge at Hard Rock Sta­dium on Satur­day, rais­ing close to $4 mil­lion for can­cer re­search, or­ga­niz­ers said.

That brings the nineyear to­tal to more than $30 mil­lion with ev­ery penny go­ing to the Univer­sity of Mi­ami’s Sylvester Com­pre­hen­sive Can­cer Cen­ter, said event ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Jen­nifer Jehn.

“This is our big­gest one yet,” she said. “Can­cer re­search saves lives, can­cer re­search costs money, and we’re here to raise as much as we can.”

Among those cy­cling were Mi­ami Dol­phins owner Steven Ross and player-turned-broad­caster Nat Moore, each of whom com­pleted a 14-mile ride at Hard Rock Sta­dium.

“We were chas­ing the

young guys … but some­how Mr. Ross caught them and beat them into the sta­dium even though I told him it was a ride, not a race,” Moore said.

“You don’t think they tanked?” Ross snapped back, with a tongue-incheek ref­er­ence to scut­tle­butt the Dol­phins plan to throw the up­com­ing sea­son to get a top draft pick.

Can­cer sur­vivors and their fam­i­lies were the real

win­ners, some par­tic­i­pants said.

An es­ti­mated 200 sur­vivors were among those who ei­ther rode, ran, or walked one of six routes from Mi­ami, Fort Laud­erdale or Boca Ra­ton to Hard Rock Sta­dium. A

100-mile op­tion en­com­passed all of them.

Paul Fr­ish­man, 55, of Pem­broke Pines, raised

$1,000. His wife, Caryn, was among the sur­vivors walk­ing the 5K while he was cy­cling to the sta­dium from the Univer­sity of Mi­ami.

“This is her 16th year as a sur­vivor so it’s very im­por­tant to us to make sure we go and give back to other fam­i­lies go­ing through this bat­tle now,” he said. “The least I can do is get on a bike and ride 35 miles in their honor.”

Cy­clist Adam Lang, 44, of We­ston, also rode 35 miles. It was his third time but it wasn’t a charm, he joked.

“[My fam­ily] is here to cheer me on,” he said. “They in­evitably man­age to miss my fin­ish on the fin­ish line, ev­ery year, three years run­ning.”

“I missed ev­ery­thing,” said wife Marnie, laugh­ing. “I wanted to get a shot of him com­ing in but I missed it.”

There’s al­ways next year, he said.

PHO­TOS BY WAYNE K. ROUS­TAN/SUN SEN­TINEL

Mi­ami Dol­phins owner Steven Ross gets a medal for com­plet­ing his 14-mile bi­cy­cle ride at Hard Rock Sta­dium.

Or­ga­niz­ers say par­tic­i­pants in the chal­lenge raised close to $4 mil­lion for can­cer re­search.

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