For the past 14 years, Pelotonia has been raising funds to fight cancer, a disease that impacts all of us, including NBC4 meteorologist Bob Nunally, who was diagnosed in January.
NBC4’s Matthew Herchik will be “Biking for Bob” this August and is sharing stories about the ride’s impact along the way to help raise awareness in Bob’s honor.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — It was back in 2009 that Jack Kukura first heard about Pelotonia through a friend.
“In 2010, I said, ‘I’m going to go ahead and do it,’ and I think I barely raised the absolute minimum,” he said.
More than a decade later, “My personal goal is $10,000 every year. I think personally I’m right around $80,000 raised for Pelotonia.”
During a ride along the Ohio to Eerie Trail Tuesday, Kukura said Pelotonia’s “one goal” is what powers him to pedal every year.
“For men, one of two,” he said. “That’s you or I, flip the coin. I don’t like those odds. Women, 1 out of 3. I have a wife and two daughters. I don’t like those odds, either.”
Kukura’s father is a prostate cancer survivor. After his wife Margaret’s sister was diagnosed, the ride became a family affair.
“All the sudden, people went from, you know, Jack riding Pelotonia for about four years, to really becoming a huge family thing.”
Mary Hyatt was diagnosed in 2014 and was given six months to live. Kukura remembers the days following an operation to remove her tumor.
“It was removed on a Friday,” he recalls. “The following Thursday, her and her husband drove up for Pelotonia. She still had bandages on her head.”
Hyatt survived for six years before losing her battle, but it was her spirit that led Pelotonia to create the Mary Hyatt Courage Award in her honor, and inspired Kukura to form a team in her name.
“Pelotonia weekend is really like my favorite weekend of the year,” he said. “Just being out there riding with so many people for the cause you’re riding for, you really feel it inside.”
Team Hyatt has now raised more than $300,000 in honor of Mary.