Franklin Countys First News

COVID-19 forces Trek Across Maine to shift gears to virtual ride

AUGUSTA - Due to the potential spread of COVID-19, the American Lung Association has announced the 36th annual Trek Across Maine fundraising bike ride scheduled for June 19-21 will be held virtually. Effective immediately, participants around the world will be able to register, track their own progress and complete their mileage goals for Trek Across Maine by cycling 60, 120 or 180 miles at their own pace before June 30, 2020. Since 1985, the event has raised more than $25 million for lung health. This year, funds from the event will go toward the American Lung Association's efforts to fight COVID-19.

"Based on the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and local government officials, we have decided to shift gears and avoid creating large gatherings of people, which is a natural part of our fun and exciting cycling fundraiser. Our top priority is to protect the health of our participants, volunteers and staff. We are very grateful for the many people who have already registered for the event. Together, our goal now is to build on the momentum we have seen from our participants and supporters across the globe to fight COVID-19. Now more than ever, we can't let this lung-related virus derail our work. This is an opportunity for us to come together to show our strength and our new virtual options will empower people to do that," said Kim Chamard, senior manager of development for the Trek Across Maine.

The annual Trek Across Maine was originally scheduled for Father's Day Weekend, June 19-21 as a three-day event for riders ages seven and above, departing from Brunswick Landing in Brunswick. Organizers have developed new ways for people to participate virtually now through June 30.

  • Participants can share their miles on the Trek Across Maine Facebook page.
  • Participants can take screenshots of their Strava and Zwift, Rouvy (formerly CycleOps) or other similar biking apps.
  • Participants can track their miles using activity trackers (Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin devices, etc.).
  • Participants will be able to download images to share their personal achievements and fundraising efforts with custom images on social media.

Anyone can make a donation to the event to support a participant and raise funds for COVID-19 research. To make a donation to the event and support the work of the American Lung Association at https://bit.ly/DonatetoTrek.

Registration for the event is $15. For details about registration and fundraising visit trekacrossmaine.org. The Trek Across Maine staff will continue to support cyclists and their fundraising goals by offering incentives and giveaways for fundraising accomplishments through June 30.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, current fundraising is well behind average years with less than half of the current $1.3 million goal. Based on the current economic conditions around the world, the Trek has reduced the fundraising minimum to $250. All registrants who raise $250 by June 30 will receive a 2020 Trek Across Maine event t-shirt, medal and commemorative bib. Registrants who raise more than $750 will also receive an official Trek Across Maine cycling jersey. Since the physical ride will no longer take place on a specific weekend, organizers are hoping more people will register to participate and achieve their mileage goals and take advantage of the virtual options between now and through June 30.

The Trek Across Maine is the largest fundraiser in the country for the American Lung Association. Funds from the event will go to support programs like research to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Recently, American Lung Association researcher, Dr. John Schoggins, Ph.D., was credited with identifying a naturally occurring protein that has been shown to inhibit coronavirus infection.

"The coronavirus has impacted many of us in several different ways. We know that cycling is one of the best outdoor activities for staying healthy and to enjoy the fresh air while following physical distancing guidelines. As the weather continues to improve, we know people will want to get outside. Cycling and raising money for lung research to fight COVID-19 is a great combination. We hope this new option for raising money and riding at your own pace will encourage more people around the world to get involved through June 30," said Jeff Seyler, chief division officer for the Eastern U.S.

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1 Responses »

  1. I can't say this bothers me. Most trekkers are respectful but there's always a few that think they're right to recreation supersedes the rights of locals to continue using the roads to earn a living.

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