Day 0: Damon Runyon Foundation and Exploring NYC

Hello from New York City! We arrived around 6:30 on Friday night after about a 20 hour train ride from Union Station. We were all more than ready to get off the train. We entered a very warm Penn Station and navigated our way through the streets and subway (we got on going the wrong direction once, but we fixed it) and arrived at our very welcoming stay over. Unfortunately, our van drivers had an even longer travel day. The van we rented had transmission problems and a 12 hour drive turned into a 24 hour drive. Thankfully, we are all here and we have a new van for the time being.

This morning we visited the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. Illini 4000 donates to this organization, and we had the pleasure of meeting Ryan, the fellow whose research is partly funded by us. Listening to him describe the work he does made us realize how many people are striving to find a cure, for cancer, as well as how few get to see their research through because of a lack of funding. Ryan seemed really passionate about his research, and it is exciting to think that he could find or invent something that makes a huge difference in the future.

We spent the rest of the day exploring the city and preparing for our first ride day tomorrow! We are all very excited to get started and a little nervous about the climbing we will be doing this week. Hills (and mountains) are daunting to people that have been training only in central Illinois. Nonetheless, we are very much looking forward to beginning this journey together and can’t wait to hear the stories of the people we meet and what we discover along the way.

The next time you hear from me we’ll be one day down!



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