WASHINGTON, D.C. — For John Wahl, the Third Annual Audi Best Buddies Challenge in Washington, D.C., offered a two-fold benefit: a reward for being physically active and an opportunity to raise funds for a worldwide charity. The Procurement Contracting Officer with Global Combat Support System - Marine Corps and his friend, Paul Curley, pedaled 100 miles in more than four hours in October to raise almost $1,000 for the cause. Curley, a 58-year-old Bostonian, holds the National Championship 2012 title for Cyclocross racing.
More than 2,500 people participated in the event that included cycling options of 100, 50 and 20 miles. Altogether they raised $2.5 million for the organization that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“I wanted to raise funds for a well-deserved program,” Wahl said. “It also helps inspire me to maintain and reach new fitness goals.”
The October event originated on the National Mall and, for those tacking the 100-mile course, continued north out of the city along MacArthur Boulevard into Montgomery County, Md., across the Point of Rocks Bridge and into Loudoun County, Va.
“Along with a few other riders in my group,” Wahl said, “we crossed into the Leesburg, Va., finishing area around four hours and some minutes, which was a respectable average of 18 mph.”
The event, which was open to participants of all ages and abilities and designed to showcase the Best Buddies mission in action, also featured the Carl Lewis Challenge, a 5K run-walk chaired and led by the Olympic gold-medalist himself.
Wahl urged others to consider participating in next year’s Best Buddies Challenge.