I enjoy the beach…but not enough to ride a bike there!
That’s the feat four of my co-workers, along with two of their friends, accomplished this past Saturday morning. The team departed RDU at 6:45 a.m. and arrived 11 hours later in the parking lot of the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach, N.C.
Why on earth would they set out to do this?
Recently, Mindy Hamlin blogged about the Airport Authority’s Wellness Program. The four employees, Jeff Slayton, Dan Pigage, John Sullivan and Jason Philyaw, were each inspired by the program to make their own positive wellness choices. Wanting to do something for their health that would also benefit the community, they came up with the idea of this bike ride.
For Health and Community
The employees decided to use the ride as a fundraiser for the Durham Rescue Mission, one of the charitable organizations that the Airport Authority supports. On their own, they began to plan the trip and begin fundraising.
Word about the bike ride reached the attention of the Airport Authority Board, where the team found nothing but support and encouragement. In addition, several organizations came alongside to support the riders by donating resources to help make the ride a success.
- Ford’s Produce donated various fruit and snacks for recovery stops along the way.
- HMS Host provided a lasagna dinner as the team’s victory meal.
- The Blockade Runner Resort graciously donated a 13-bedroom beach cottage for the participants and support team to rest after the ride.
- The Holiday Inn Wrightsville Beach provided two hotel rooms to accommodate the crew.
A Great Ride
After much training and preparation, the team of six riders set off on an unseasonably warm October morning. I was part of the support crew, which was tasked with setting up rest stops along the route and caring for the team as needed.
We traveled the beautifully rural two-lane roads along US 421 in Eastern North Carolina setting up rest stations at various gas stations in Benson, Clinton and just outside of Wilmington. We also had fun live-tweeting the journey with the hashtag #runways2seawaves.
For me, the best part of the whole trip was seeing the sense of accomplishment on the riders faces as they pulled into the Blockade Runner parking lot. What an outstanding event for our employees that benefited not only their health and wellness, but also our community.
That’s the kind of leadership you see at RDU.