This past weekend, one of Fishbowl’s employees, Bryan Byrge, took on the extraordinary challenge of riding his bike 206 miles across three states to raise money in honor of his mother-in-law who passed away from cancer a year ago. The proceeds from the 2011 LOTOJA Classic bike race go to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation to study, treat and prevent cancer.
The LOTOJA Classic is the longest one-day race endorsed by the United States Cycling Federation. It goes from Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, crossing three mountain passes and climbing nearly 10,000 feet in the process. And the racers have to complete the whole trip within 14 hours! This is a grueling race that many top cyclists from around the country come to participate in.
Bryan is an inventory specialist at Fishbowl. He had never ridden his bike for more than 50 miles at one time when he first committed himself to training for this race five months ago. He rode more than 2,300 miles and climbed 110,000 feet during his intense training period. Now that’s dedication!
He finished the race in 11 hours, 6 minutes. He placed 64th out of 650 racers, putting him in the top 10 percent. And he raised $1,750 for the cancer fund.
Bryan’s mother-in-law, Sally Vranes, battled Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma cancer for five years, and she served as a powerful inspiration for Bryan during his preparation. Despite the incredible pain she endured in her last few years, Vranes never stopped serving her children and grandchildren. She attended every game of her grandson’s football team, and she inspired the players to win every game of their 2009 season. You can see a video about this in the KSL News article “Young athletes learning life lessons from their No. 1 fan.”
This has been a great year for fitness at Fishbowl. We ran a 64-mile relay race two weeks ago, we held an ambitious service project in August, and we’re just about to open a new fitness center at our office in Orem. Even as Fishbowl keeps growing, its employees are shrinking their waistlines!
Congratulations, Bryan, on making it through this amazing race and for doing it for such a noble cause. You embody many of the ideals Fishbowl strives for, including excellence and service.