Reynoldsburg's Sean McCready ready for 'more personal' Pelotonia

KELLEY YOUMAN
editorial@thisweeknews.com
Sean McCready first rode 25 miles in Pelotonia last year to honor a family friend who died of cancer. He signed up for 45 miles this year and still plans to hit that mark.

Whether with a crowd or on his own, Pelotonia pushes Sean McCready further.

McCready, 39, is an instructional designer at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine whose first ride in Pelotonia was last year after a coworker at OSU convinced him to join a team.

He rides in honor of a family friend who died of cancer three years ago.

"I just thought it was such a fantastic organization and a fundraising opportunity. It's a way to honor our friend who lost his life to cancer, but also to be able to provide funds for cancer research," McCready said.

"I always enjoyed bike riding -- as soon as my son got old enough, I had him on a bike -- but I had never done a long-distance ride. Maybe 10 miles, but that was the absolute max. Pelotonia has pushed me and introduced me to longer rides."

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.

Last year, McCready rode for 25 miles. This year, he upped his commitment to 45 miles.

He hasn't mapped out his personal route yet but has some ideas in mind.

"I originally signed up for the 45-mile ride. That was before it went virtual, but I intend to still do it," he said. "I'll probably start in Reynoldsburg and take the trails through the city, out onto the Three Creeks Trail and into Bexley and downtown Columbus.

"Once you get into downtown, there's a lot of options -- taking it either out west and ending up in west Columbus or taking it up the (state Route) 315 trail and ending up in north Columbus. I'd like to do a one-way route and have my wife pick me up in the car with the bike rack."

With people working from home and fewer gatherings scheduled, fundraising is a little different this year.

"Last year we had 'Taco Tuesday' fundraisers at work," McCready said. "This year it's a little more individualized. I'm in the process of making an epoxy resin river table and I'm going to auction off that and a few other woodworking items I've made."

McCready lives in Reynoldsburg with his wife, Devan, and their 14-year-old son, Kaiden.

The family volunteers with the Maize Manor United Methodist Church's monthly produce markets, and Devan McCready helps Sean with Pelotonia fundraising.

"I cheer him on," she said. "And we're both crafty, so last year I made jewelry for some of the fundraisers he had at OSU. This year it has been a lot different because we don't get out much, but in the course of

Sean doing Pelotonia, I've run into a bunch of people I know. It's amazing how many people participate in it. It's a very cool organization."

Although participants will ride on their own, 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, Pelotonia president and CEO.

"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," Ulman said.

McCready said his second Pelotonia will have less fanfare but more meaning.

"It was awesome last year to see so many organizations with their individual jerseys, and the massive party and all the people downtown. I'll definitely miss that because it was very impactful," McCready said. "But there are things on the individual side that I'm enjoying. It's a lot more personal."

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