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A long ride for a good cause

Usually Jeannette Appold would rather sit on the sidelines and cheer than be the one accomplishing great athletic feats. So last year when a colleague asked her if she wanted to participate in the two-day Hartford Breast Cancer Ride, the 42-year-old was as surprised as anyone when she said yes.

"The helping side appealed to me and I'm always up for a challenge," said Appold. "Just not usually a physical one."

The Harford Breast Cancer Ride Presented by ReMax Results is an annual bicycling event that raises money for breast cancer research and treatment. Riders raise money by taking donations and cycle either 100 or 150 miles.

Appold decided to do the ride with a team from Thomson Reuters team despite the fact her colleague backed out and she didn't know any of the other riders.

"I thought it was a worthy cause to solicit money from my 500 Facebook friends," Appold said.

She chose the shorter route. Having never in her life done anything like it Appold said she felt like 100 miles was plenty.

Appold doesn't sugar coat the fact that it was difficult. At times during the two days Appold doubted whether she would finish, but she did.

"It took three weeks to recover from the ride last year," said Appold. "(But) it was a huge sense of accomplishment."

That sense of accomplishment led Appold to want to do the ride again this year. This year's event will be held on Aug. 7-8.

"It was such a great atmosphere. The atmosphere is why we want to do it again," she said.

Appold knows a number of women who have battled the disease. Being able to help in their fight is good enough reason to be uncomfortable for a few days, she said.

"I think it's something I'll do every year," said Appold.

This time around Appold said she will train more. She started last weekend riding south from Rosemount on Highway 3 to the roundabout. Her next goal is to make it to the Farmington Dairy Queen.

"I'm taking baby steps," said Appold with a laugh.


The Hartford Breast Cancer Ride is organized by Kari Mitchell, a Rosemount resident. Mitchell started the ride in 2007. The first event included more than 200 riders and raised $200,000.

This year the ride will have two beneficiaries: the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Minnesota Affiliate and Open Arms of Minnesota. Money raised by participants in this year's Ride will be split evenly between the two beneficiaries. Mitchell said they hope to have 300 riders this year.

Each Rider is required to raise a minimum of $750 in pledges, except students and minors, who are required to raise $375. Riders must be at least 13 years old to participate in ride.

The ride will start at the Mall of America on Aug. 7. Cyclist will ride to Treasure Island. On Aug. 8 riders will come through Rosemount on their way back to the MOA. A pit stop will be set up at the Rosemount Elementary School.

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Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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