More MS news articles for June 2001

Area team rides for cure

Monday, June 18, 2001
Sentinel Staff Writer

TRUMAN -- For Carmen Reckard and her team there were 159 miles of riding, about 2,500 companions and the greatest feeling at the end of the day.

Nine members made up Reckard's team for the 22nd Annual Noran Clinic MS 150. The team, which rode in the bike ride June 8-10 to fight multiple sclerosis, calls itself Team Wannabe.

The team's goal this year, as the members rode from Duluth to Anoka, was to raise $3,000. With the pledges they have so far received, Reckard thinks the team members reached their goal.

Although there are no other teams in the area that Reckard knows of, teams from across the state take part in the bike ride every year. This year, there were about 2,500 participants of all ages, Reckard said.

"There's something about a joint endurance with 2,500 people that's really neat," she said.

After registering in Anoka and taking motorcoaches to Duluth, the teams were ready to begin the ride. Participants ride for six to eight hours a day for two days, Reckard said.

"Riding bike is easier than walking, but it's five to six hours of it," she said.

Although there were some injuries this year, Team Wannabe's members finished the ride unscathed. There were also many flat tires during the ride this year, Reckard said.

Reckard, the team's captain, said this is Team Wannabe's fourth year participating in the ride. The team changes a little each year, she said, and they're always willing to take on new members.

It feels good to help fight multiple sclerosis, Reckard said.

"Someday there'll be a cure, we hope," she added.

At least 80 percent of the money earned during the annual ride goes to research and services, Reckard said.

Participating in the annual ride holds special meaning for Reckard, whose husband, Stephen, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about four years ago.

It feels especially good to know that by helping fight the disease, she could also be benefitting her husband, Reckard said.

"That's great," she said.

Although Stephen Reckard usually joined Carmen Reckard in riding bike, last year was the last year he was able to ride, Carmen said.

However, Stephen is still a valuable member of the team. This year he met team members at rest stops to help encourage them on, and he also helped collect pledges, Carmen said. He helped the riders, especially the younger team members, through difficult parts of the ride, she said.

"Encouragement is just really important at that point," Carmen said.

Despite the physical endurance required for the ride and the occasional flat tire, participating in the annual event is really a lot of fun, said Maria Wolle.

"It's an experience," said Wolle, a 16-year-old member of Team Wannabe.

It's a good feeling to know she's helping people by participating, she said. It may be a lot of work, but it's worth it, she added.

"You'd ride forever if you could to help those people," Wolle said.

It is an awesome feeling at the end of the day, she said. There's also great camaraderie between participants, and there are people of all ages in the ride, she said.

Although Wolle thinks she will participate again next year, she said now is a bad time to ask because she's still recovering from the aches and pains from this year's ride.

However, when all is said and done, participating in the ride is a great experience, Wolle said.

"It's a lot of fun," she added.

Although Carmen thinks the team members will make their goal of $3,000, they will be happy to accept more pledges or donations.

Pledges must be received by July 1 to count toward the final total for the ride, but Carmen also will accept and submit donations received after that date.

Donations and pledges can be mailed to Carmen and Stephen at 2480 175th Ave. in Truman.

Despite several attempts, other team members could not be contacted for comment.