Solo Colorado Trail Duathlon Benefits Davis Phinney Foundation
July 24, 2019
Epic Trail Event Benefits Programs That Support People with Parkinson's
Boulder, CO – July 24, 2019 Colorado-based ultra endurance athlete Rob Harrington’s brother-in-law, Michael Redwine, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease more than 10 years ago. Since that time, Rob has seen both the steady progression of Parkinson’s and the important benefits of the wellness programs espoused by the Davis Phinney Foundation.
Rob has also witnessed the many challenges his sister Kathleen faces as the sole caregiver of a person with Parkinson’s, the No. 2 neurodegenerative disease behind Alzheimer’s. It affects more than 1 million people in the United States.
Not one to sit idle, Rob joined Team DPF and created the Colorado Trail Duathlon to raise awareness of Parkinson’s, and the programs of the Davis Phinney Foundation designed to help people live their best life and cope with the disease. The epic duathlon began July 15 and consists of 1,040 miles on foot and mountain bike, trekking southbound on trails from Denver to Durango on foot, approximately 490 miles with over 70,000 feet of elevation gain and reaching a high point of 13,271 feet. Rob will then hop on the mountain bike and head north back to Denver, covering approximately 550 miles. The longer distance will compensate for the wilderness areas that prohibit bikes.
The Colorado Trail was completed over 30 years ago, extending from Denver to Durango right through the heart of the Colorado Rockies. The trail is maintained and improved by the nonprofit Colorado Trail Foundation.
“I highly value the work the Davis Phinney Foundation does and their mission to help people with Parkinson’s live well today,” said Rob. “I was proud to be a fan of Davis and have supported the Foundation long before I learned of Michael’s diagnosis. It’s important for folks to know about these programs and the importance of exercise in keeping the brain healthy.”
Rob, Kathleen and Michael participated in a Victory Summit event three years ago, a signature program of the Davis Phinney Foundation. That inspired Kathleen, a lifelong dancer and dance instructor, to create a Dance for Parkinson’s program at the University of Oklahoma School of Dance. The classes have been extremely helpful to Michael and others in the community. They have also been emotionally rewarding for Kathleen, who is now better able to contribute not only to Michael’s well-being, but to that of her many other students. Rob’s goal, through the Colorado Trail Duathlon, was to help support Parkinson’s wellness programs, like the OSU Dance For Parkinson’s.
“We’re super excited for Rob to take on such an audacious challenge to benefit the Foundation,” said Rich Cook, Director of Development for the Davis Phinney Foundation. “It’s inspiring to track his progress and see him pushing his personal limits to help others living with Parkinson’s Disease who struggle to live well each day. ”
You can follow Rob’s progress live during the epic journey, which began on July 15. The average hiker completes the Colorado Trail one way in five weeks. Rob’s goal is four weeks for the down-on-foot-and-back-on-bike duathlon.
The Davis Phinney Foundation was founded by Olympic cyclist Davis Phinney in 2004 to help people with Parkinson’s live well today. The organization’s focus is to provide programs and resources that offer inspiration, information and tools that enable people living with Parkinson’s to take action that can immediately improve their quality of life. Parkinson’s is the No. 2 neurodegenerative disease – second to Alzheimer’s – and affects over 1 million people in the United States. The Foundation’s work impacts hundreds of thousands of individuals and families each year.
Team DPF is the grassroots fundraising community that supports the Davis Phinney Foundation through participation in a wide range of athletic and community-based events. With a focus on fun, personal empowerment and fundraising for Parkinson’s, Team DPF welcomes all ages and abilities. With roots in cycling, Team DPF also extends to runners, climbers, swimmers, hikers, community events and more. Team DPF is sponsored by: Primal, AltRed, SCRATCH Labs, BOCO Gear, The Sufferfest, Baker Insurance and Boulder Neurological and Spine Associates. Visit dpf.org to learn more.