Bexley's Craig Tann following trails in his Pelotonia fundraising challenge

CHRIS BOURNEA
editorial@thisweeknews.com
Craig Tann

Bexley resident Craig Tann is combining his interest in exploring with raising funds to fight cancer.

Tann said he decided to participate in Pelotonia by challenging himself to walk or run 100 miles through Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, equaling the distance from Columbus to Gambier. His fundraising goal is $2,500.

"I wanted to explore the state. You can run or walk in every metro park; you can't ride your bike in every metro park," he said. "I'm trying my hardest to organize people to come with me, either a family member or a coworker or an acquaintance I haven't seen in a while. I'm building community along the way, and that is what it is all about it."

Tann, 46, director of national accounts with Diamond Hill Capital Management, said he has participated in Pelotonia as a cyclist five previous times. He and his wife, Kris, are the parents of a son, Aiden, 11, and a daughter, Natalie, 9.

Because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and a desire to keep participants, volunteers and supporters safe, Pelotonia in May canceled its annual weekend ride and in-person events, which were slated Friday to Sunday, Aug. 7 to 9.

But a reimagined 2020 Pelotonia has been rolling on virtually, with participants setting their own fundraising and activity goals and tracking them through mypelotonia.org to continue the mission of supporting cancer research at Ohio State University's James Cancer Center and Solove Research Institute.

This year's format includes a unifying event in the spirit of Pelotonia's traditional opening ceremony: a special broadcast called Legends LIVE! that will be streamed on pelotonia.org/rise, Facebook (facebook.com/pelotonia) and YouTube (youtube.com/ridepelotonia) from 7 to 8 p.m. Aug. 7.

"As we've had to pivot away from our traditional mass physical gathering this year, our priority has been to create new opportunities for our community to engage and continue to raise critical funds for cancer research," said Doug Ulman, president and CEO of Pelotonia. "The My Pelotonia platform and upcoming Legends LIVE! broadcast on Friday, Aug. 7, allow anyone, anywhere to play an important role in Pelotonia's mission this year.

"Legends LIVE! will be a celebration of what we've accomplished so far and the important work still to come -- featuring moving and uplifting stories of survival, research successes, musical performances and many special guests."

A Columbus native who lived in California for 16 years, Tann said he was amazed when he returned to central Ohio in 2014 to discover how Pelotonia engaged the community.

"I was blown away by everything ... the packs of people on the bike trails and wearing the jerseys. It took me like a full year to understand and really grasp what was going on," Tann said. "I'm just so glad to be a part of it. Coming here after it had been established and been around for a number of years and really understanding it was really eye opening."

Tann said he became involved with Pelotonia to help make a difference and contribute to the mission of finding a cure for cancer.

"I can guarantee you that everyone in this community or in this world has been affected by cancer," he said. "To be able to raise money for something we're all impacted by is worthy and special."

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