MAYFIELD - More than 200 cyclists, runners and walkers gathered at the Mayfield Volunteer Fire Department's Firehouse and Fairgrounds on School Street on Saturday for the ninth annual Adirondack Spintacular.
Participants could choose between 5-kilometer, 12-mile, 6-mile or 1-mile courses.
Carol Madeiros, who started the event in memory of her husband, Lawrence Madeiros, said she couldn't believe how much the event has grown.
The Leader-Herald/Amanda Whistle
Cyclists begin a race Saturday at the Adirondack Spintacular on Saturday at the Mayfield Volunteer Fire Department Fairgrounds and Firehouse on School Street.
"In the first year, we probably had about 50 people and they were almost all family and friends," Madeiros said. "Now we have a core group of people who come every year. They don't miss it and their registrations are the first to come in."
Lawrence Madeiros was born a hemophiliac, meaning his blood was missing a protein necessary to form sufficient clots and he had to undergo blood infusions.
In the 1980s, he was infected with the HIV virus and hepatitis from tainted blood, but he "refused to live life on the sidelines," Carol wrote on the event's website, www.adirondackspintacular.com.
Carol's roommate from college at Sienna, Anne Kolucci, said she and her family travel from their home in White Plains to attend the event yearly.
"I always feel like Larry's spirit is here," Kolucci said as she recalled his love for the outdoors and positive spirit that always pushed him forward.
Steven Van Allen, president of the fire department's Grounds Association, said he feels proud that the fire department can provide a venue for the event.
"The association enjoys helping out," Van Allen said. "We've got fire police and trained emergency [personnel] out there. They [the Spintacular volunteers and organizers] are a good group. They really work hard at this."
Firefighter Shawn Humphrey said he's been meaning to participate in the race for years and felt good he finally did this year. He ran in the 5K for the first time.
"It's for a good cause," he said. "I had to walk through a couple cramps but I'm glad I got to finish it."
Others, like the Lake and Knapp families, both of Johnstown, made the event a family outing.
Cousins Madelyne Knapp, 7, Ellie Knapp, 4, and Andrew Lake, 4, all ran while their grandparents cheered them on.
"It's just fun for us," said their grandmother, Linda Knapp. "We get to watch them race."
The Knapp girls' father, Mike Knapp, agreed and said Madelyne "is like a little rocket."
"It's good family fun and great to have all the cousins together," he said.
Madeiros said at least 130 people pre-registered, but the fairgrounds were full with more than 200 people on Saturday morning.
The event is co-sponsored by Positudes, Inc., the first non-profit bleeding disorder organization and pharmacy, and the Center for Donation and Transplant.
Its purpose is to raise funds and awareness for chronic disorder and organ donation and the Lawrence Madeiros Memorial Scholarship fund. Scholarships are awarded through the fund annually to high school seniors from all over who are living with chronic disorders and continuing their education.
This year, six $1,000 scholarships were awarded and the recipients were honored at the Spintacular on Saturday.
Chelsea L. Hadden of Poughkeepsie, who is going on to pursue a liberal arts and music degree at Fredonia, was present Saturday with another scholarship winner, Samantha L. Illenberg, of Castleton, who is going on to pursue an engineering degree at Clarkson University.
Hadden was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which weakens connective tissues, and Illenberg was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth, a neurological disorder.
Madeiros said a committee of six people looked over more than 80 applications this year for the scholarship.
Madeiros said the community also has shown its support for the event with donations for the silent auction, which featured 87 items this year. A variety of items, including gift baskets and gift cards, were auctioned off. Price Chopper also donated the use of a refrigerated truck. Almost all of the food was donated, as well.
Madeiros said about 50 volunteers help out with the event between registration, helping in the kitchen for the barbecue picnic, and other tasks.
"We've got it down to a science now," she said.
This was the second year the event used Fast Track Timing, a company based out of New Milford, Conn., to track the racers' times. Each racer had a chip on the sole of their shoe or on their bike and as they ran or rode over a series of blue mats, their time was recorded.
Since 2003, more than $42,000 in scholarships have been awarded as a result of funds raised through the Spintacular.
For more information on the event and to see all of the past scholarship winners, visit www.adirondackspintacular.com
Amanda Whistle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org