At the Y, we take pride in supporting our members as they look to tackle new challenges and strive to achieve their goals. For Morris Community YMCA member George Miller, completing a 64 kilometer bike race was a rewarding experience made possible in part because of exercising at the Y.
Miller competed in the Rough Road 100 Spring Classic Gravel Race earlier this month, finishing with a time of four hours, six minutes. He was one of just three competitors over the age of 70 to complete the course.
“I have been training since January,” George said. “I worked with (Health and Wellness Director) Ro Petersen during some personal training sessions and I was alternating between that, spin classes, and my own cycle training.”
George had been a Y member in the past and was inspired to join again after retiring.
“I realized I really hadn’t done anything for six months. I needed to get moving, so I came here. I’ve also done senior fitness classes and gone on walks with Fab 50 walkers,” he said.
George had previous cycling experience, but he said he took a more serious approach as he prepared for the race.
“I used to have a 10 speed racer, but once I saw what the route entailed it was clear my 40-year-old bike wouldn’t hold up. I went out and bought a new bike with some extra gears and wider tires,” he said.
Rainy and windy weather conditions added to the challenge.
“Every time we would head east or south you were going right into the wind. It was a long race so the key was to not overextend myself at the beginning. Just take your time and keep pedaling is what I told myself. It was a matter of sticking to it. The other riders were also encouraging,” he said.
George said his Y spin instructor Sheila was at the starting line to see him off and that Ro was one of the first people to call after he completed the race. He plans to shift his focus toward running 5Ks, but is looking forward to more bike rides in the months ahead.
“I’m definitely going to be doing some more biking. There are a few other road trips and programs I’m interested in. I may also do this ride again but in the summer when the weather is nice and I can enjoy it a little bit more,” he said.
Although he’s not quite sure where the road will take him, George knows for sure that the Y will continue to play a key role in his training.
“I’m usually in here four days a week. I just love the companionship. It’s really great to be around people,” George said.
We congratulate George on his successful race and thank him for his continued support of the Y.