'Pedal for Pat' bikers travel through Jacksonville to fight Alzheimer's

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Cyclists rode through Jacksonville Sunday evening as part of a more than 1,000 mile journey to fight Alzheimer’s.

The ride is named for legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt, who died after a battle with the disease.

Action News Jax's Kevin Clark says Summit was often on the riders’ minds. Halfway through a 12-day bike ride spanning several states, Michelle Marciniak broke down and started crying.

 “After six days, it starts to take a toll on you and you just start to grind it out,” Marciniak said.

It wasn’t the physical toll from the 1,098 miles she and her teammates are traveling, but perhaps what the miles represent: every win belonging to legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt, her former coach, who died last year after a 5-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Marciniak said she thinks about her former coach often. 

From Knoxville to South Florida, eight riders from all walks of life are making this pilgrimage for Pat. Many knew her, but just as important they know one of the 5 and a half million people who suffer from Alzheimer’s.

Together they’re out to raise money in hopes of solving the puzzle of the devastating disease.

“Every day I think about one of my donors who has given money to support research for finding a cure and they give me the name of someone who they loved who was afflicted by the disease,” said Ginny Gilder, owner of Seattle Storm.

A coach that pushed so many athletes to their limit died of a disease that pushes so many loved ones to theirs.

It’s only appropriate these riders are being pushed and moved in a similar way.

If you’d like to donate or learn more, visit the Pedal for Pat website
 

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