How to Make the Most of the Best Buddies Challenge
MTeamers: In just three days, we’ll gather together—sporting our amazing new jerseys with Mer’s painting on them—for the Best Buddies Challenge Hyannis Port!
Some of us will be tacking the 100, 50 or 20 mile ride with 1,500 other cyclists, including some well-known faces like Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Guy Fieri, George Hincapie and Christian Vande Velde, among others. The rest of us will be running or walking a 5k at Craigville Beach, led by Olympic legend Carl Lewis.
All of us will celebrating the hard work we’ve put into fundraising and training this year, before and after the race. Best Buddies prides itself on making the Best Buddies Challenge a five-star experience, so enjoying yourself won’t be difficult, but here are a few tips that will help you make the most of the day:
1. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP. The night before, make a point of going to bed early so you’re fully refreshed to put in your best effort at the Challenge. Prepare everything you’ll need before you go to bed so you don’t have to worry about anything besides getting yourself ready in the morning.
2. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU EAT. Fuel your body before the ride/run! You’ll need it. Oatmeal, yogurt and fruit make good breakfast choices. You can power up with protein, pack some energy bars and nutritious bites for the road. Food and snacks will be available during the day, so take advantage of that and keep your energy levels up. Be sure to hydrate with water before the run/ride, during, and after as well. Later, give yourself a break and just enjoy the delicious food and drinks while we celebrate!
List break - Take a minute to remember last year’s Best Buddies Challenge with this video!
Feeling pumped up and ready for Saturday now? We are too! Okay, back to the list…
3. PACE YOURSELF AND DON’T GIVE UP. Especially if you’re doing a century ride for the first time or haven’t trained quite as much as you would have liked, pay attention to your body and make sure you’re reserving your energy to get through the full ride, or run. Reflecting on last year’s event, MTeamer David Parada said, “The last two miles by far were the hardest miles I have ever ridden. I didn’t think I was even going to make it to the finish line. But, turning that corner and seeing all the faces of friends and families cheering and supporting everyone was overwhelming. I was elated. The hug I received from the buddy who gave me the finisher’s medal was a moment I’ll never forget.”
4. ENJOY THE FULL EVENT. We come to cycle and run, but we also come to celebrate! Enjoy a bit of pampering with hot showers and massages while you cool down. Join us for a post-race lunch and then more food at the Best Buddies lobster clambake for dinner. If you come with family, check out the new Family Fun Festival with games and activities. There will be an open bar and a private beachside concert by Flo Rida too, so stick around until the end if you can!
5. MEET OTHER MTEAMERS. It’s not often that the full MTeam is able to get together, and when we do it can be a pretty powerful experience. If this is your first time, you’ll find yourself welcomed with open arms. And if you’re a returning member, you know you’ll find the same. Mingle, share stories and have fun together. This is an amazing community we want to continue to strengthen and build.
6. MEET MEREDITH. For those of you who don’t know Mer personally yet, definitely seek her out and take the opportunity meet the “M” in our MTeam. Our Chief Motivating Officer will be doing the 5k with her parents and will be there at the after party as well, so you’ll have opportunities to get to know her throughout the day. You’ll quickly see why “Miles for Smiles” became our motto!
7. MEET THE BUDDIES. More than 40 Best Buddies program participants attend the event. Meet them, hear their stories, thank them for volunteering at the event and make some new friends. You may even spot a familiar face or two from our blog interviews if you’ve been reading along. “Being treated to the smiles of the young people we were helping throughout the route of the cycle ride” was what MTeamers Steve and Linda Lowy shared as one of the most powerful memories of last year’s event.
8. SIGN UP FOR 2020. Hitting the finish line on a high and feeling the impact of what you’ve achieved this year? You won’t be the only one! If that’s a feeling you want to repeat, then consider joining us again for 2020. We’ll be signing people up on the day, so you can jump straight into the fundraising and have a full year ahead to meet those fundraising goals. “I signed up for 2019 before I left the party!!,” MTeamer Joe Whalen said after the 2018 Challenge. “The atmosphere was great. Everyone I came in contact with was in such a positive and happy mood, even after miles on the road. It was very uplifting to ride with so many like-minded people. From the people cheering us on the side of the road, to the support staff, and being greeted at the finish line by many of the buddies, it was all just amazing.”
9. TAKE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS. While you’re at the event, make sure to take plenty of photos and videos that you can share with all of the people who generously donated to your campaign and that you can also use for your 2020 fundraising efforts.
Above all, have fun, make memories, and be proud of what we’ve accomplished!