Saturday, May 26, 2007, is the date for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic in Durango, CO, and York's Andy Armstrong will be ready to race. Armstrong, director of marketing, North America for York Unitary Products, part of the Building Efficiency Group of Johnson Controls, has been preparing for the event since last October, by riding more than 2,000 miles and losing 25 pounds. Armstrong and cyclists from around the world will race the Silverton, a coal-fired, steam locomotive, in a route from Durango to Silverton, CO, at a less than normal clip.
The cyclists race the train, ascending more 5,000 feet up the Rocky Mountains and descending into the historic mining town of Silverton.
Armstrong, a bicycling enthusiast, made the decision to train for the race after a discussion about hobbies with Jim and Dave Probst, business associates from Quality Temperature Maintenance, a York dealer in Phoenix.
“I wasn’t sure I would have the physical endurance to do it at first, but the more I thought about how much the training would benefit me personally, and how this could be a great way to raise support for a child with a life-threatening illness, the more committed I became to doing it.
"That was over 2,000 miles and more than 25 pounds ago. And the show of support for the Make-A-Wish Foundation has been wonderful.”
Knowing that he will be competing with Olympic cyclists as well as world and national champions, Armstrong said his greatest challenge has been with himself. He set ambitious personal goals—to lose 35 pounds and ride 2,000 miles by the day of the race—and decided to use a combination of diet and exercise to accomplish them.
Armstrong’s goals also include raising awareness and additional support for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In fact, he expects to raise $18,000 for the foundation – eclipsing his initial goal of $10,000. Armstrong credits the contributions of his sponsors: JRS Advertising, Godfrey Advertising, Standard Register, Net.Prophet, Decision Analyst, Motivation Excellence, TraiContracting Business, Genesco Sports Enterprises and JGSullivan Interactive.
To read more about Armstrong’s preparation for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic and to learn how to support his fundraising efforts, visit http://andysironhorse2007.blogspot.com/.