Clover alumna Thomas raising funds for cancer ride in Ohio

Clover alumna Kristen Thomas talks about raising runs to support Hope Lodge in Ohio. The over 300-mile ride starts July 30 and ends Aug. 2.

What made you decide to do this event?
thomas: I decided to do this event to support the Hope Lodge and to meet other cyclists in the area. I just moved to Cleveland, so I don't really know anyone. I thought about doing the Cleveland triathlon that weekend, but decided that the Hope Ride was a better opportunity. My Grandmother has also been battling cancer for a couple years, so supporting the American Cancer Society is important to me.

scrunners: How is cycling different than running for you?
thomas: I've never really thought about how cycling differs from running for me. I'm not really a cyclist, I just enjoy triathlons, which combine the running and the cycling. This will be the first distance ride/event I've participated in. I do find that cycling is good cross training for running. It builds and tones different muscles than purely running all the time. It also allows me to mix up my training and just have fun. For me it's easier to "get lost" and just enjoy a ride than a run. Running has always been a competition for me, where as I started biking with my family at a young age, so cycling has always had a level of relaxation and simplicity. I'm able to just do it for fun.

scrunners: How far you traveled for competitions?
thomas: Like I said, this is the first ride I'm doing. I normally just do triathlons or other multi-sport events. In 2009 I have already participated in five triathlons, one duathlon, a 5K, and a four-mile mud run. These races were in Nashville, Tenn., Lubbock, Texas, Richmond, Va., Greenville, Rock Hill, Columbia and Memphis, Tenn. So I do a lot of traveling. I don't usually race alone, though. I normally have at least one friend, and usually I race with the Clemson Triathlon Club.

scrunners: How has your feedback been in raising funds?
thomas: I just started raising funds, so I haven't had much feedback. I still have about a month until the ride, so hopefully I will be successful in raising some funds.

scrunners: What's next for you?
thomas: After this ride, I plan on racing more triathlons. Clemson is part of the South East Collegiat Triathlon Confrence (SECTC) which has races in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Although I'm going to be in Cleveland for the fall semester, I would like to compete in all the SECTC races. There are four in the fall. This also will involve a lot of traveling, but I think I'm up for the challenge.

As far as what's next for me in my life, I'm not sure. The internship I have right now is a six month program. I'll be in Cleveland until December. I will then return to Clemson in January. From there I have several options I've been toying with. These options range from working in New Mexico for the Department of Defense, to helping some friends start an even production company to organize and host races, to teaching and coaching. I have so many options and I really have no idea what I want to do.

Read more about Thomas' ride and donation information at this link