Fast Freddie Rodriguez will return to Dempsey Challenge

Recently crowned U.S. Pro National Road Race Champion Freddie Rodriguez of Berkeley, Calif., will return to the Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen for the third consecutive year. The non-competitive run, walk and cycling event benefiting The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing will take place Oct. 12 and 13 in Lewiston, Maine.

Rodriguez, 39, rides for Jelly Belly presented by Kenda Cycling Team and is a four-time national champion. He founded the Fast Freddie Foundation which inspires and provides young people with the tools to achieve personal successes by utilizing life skills learned through cycling. The foundation encourages a commitment to education and a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. He also founded the Fast Freddie Gran Fondo which supports cycling-based youth mentorship programs throughout the world. This year’s event will take place August 17 in Berkeley and Oakland Hills, Calif.

Rodriguez takes an active role during Challenge weekend, joining actor and event namesake Patrick Dempsey in the sponsor dinner, private ride, press conference and Champions for Hope celebration. He rides with Dempsey on the 50-mile route, stopping at rest areas along the way to meet and greet fellow participants.

He was instrumental in bringing the Bike-a-palooza program to the Auburn-Lewiston YMCA in 2012. The program kicked off Challenge weekend by providing free Specialized bicycle helmets to over 40 youngsters, who were treated to a bicycle safety, handling and maintenance course.

The Dempsey Challenge offers a 5K and 10K run/walk on October 12 and cycling routes of 10, 25, 50, 70 and 100 miles on October 13. All events will begin and end at Simard-Payne Memorial Park. The weekend will include a family friendly Festival in the Park which plays host to a Health and Wellness Expo, KidZone, vendor fair and live entertainment. Runners and walkers will enjoy the 5 & 10K Café and cyclists are invited to take part in a participant lobster bake the following day. The Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Walk highlights the weekend festivities.

Participants are encouraged to create or join teams through the Dempsey Challenge website to build camaraderie and assist their fundraising efforts. For more information, including participant, volunteer and fundraising information, log on to www.dempseychallenge.org.

For more information on the Fast Freddie Foundation and the Fast Freddie Gran Fondo, please visit www.fastfreddiefoundation.org and www.ffgranfondo.com.

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