Completing a centenary in life is a goal for many. Bike to Beat Cancer rider Scott Walters has achieved this eight times, riding the Bike to Beat Cancer 100 mile route over the past eight years.
What drives someone to cycle 100 miles year after year? For Scott, it was the loss of his older brother, Mark Walters. Mark was treated for a brain tumor at the Norton Cancer Institute, where Scott and Mark’s sister worked. Mark finally lost his battle at the age of 53. For Scott, it was the “most devastating” loss he had ever seen in his life. Watching his parents cry was especially difficult, Scott said.
“A child is supposed to bury his parents. A parent is not supposed to bury their child, ”he said.
Scott was and still is determined to prevent other families from suffering the same devastating loss. Scott thinks a lot about his brother as he rides on Bike to Beat Cancer day.
“The Mile of Silence is one of my favorite parts, because it provides time for reflection and is motivating,” Scott said.
The camaraderie of other runners – especially those on the 100 mile route – as well as the volunteers who encourage and support the runners at the pit stops also helps in the encouragement. “People thank you, fill your water bottle and hold your bike while you rest at stops. The saves are so impressive, ”said Scott.
Not even rain, storms or a pandemic can stop Scott from rolling in his brother’s memory.
Recalling his ride in 2018 as thunder rumbled and lightning strikes, Scott said: “The people in their cars passing by must have thought I was crazy.”
Back then, the idea of quitting wasn’t even an option.
“I thought, as bad as it is and as strong as the winds blow, it can’t even compare to what my brother has been through,” Scott said.
13th edition of the Cycling to Conquer Cancer
Register for the 5, 15, 35, 65, 100 miles, round or virtual tour on September 11, 2021
In 2020, amid the pandemic-related changes to the event, Scott kept his pledge to his donors to travel 100 miles by looping around Georgetown, Ky., Near his home.
As he rides, Scott carries with him a list of names of loved ones who are battling cancer or who have lost their battle with cancer. After crossing the finish line, Scott presents his medal to one of the individuals or families on his list. He also shares the Bike to Beat Cancer jersey he wins every year with a family member or friend who starts cycling – to encourage them to join Bike to Beat Cancer.
Each year Scott has been a Bike to Beat Cancer Champion, raising over $ 1,000 to support the Norton Cancer Institute. Scott hopes that with the funds raised additional treatments and ultimately a cure for cancer will be found.
According to Scott, as long as his legs continue to pedal, he will continue to ride a bicycle to beat cancer.
“I know if I’m tired and it’s painful, it’s not at all what my brother and other cancer patients are going through,” Scott said. “I will end as a tribute to their fight. “