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Denver Athlete to Compete in the Most Challenging Hand Bike Race in the World
Date:4/29/2009

Matt Updike to Conquer Challenge Alaska

DENVER, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On July 19 through July 27, local Denver Paralympics athlete Matt Updike is going to compete against 38 top athletes from around the globe in the longest and most challenging hand cycle race in the world - Sadler's Alaska Challenge to raise money for The Colorado Chapter of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

267 grueling miles over 7 excruciating days and with over 16,000 exhausting feet of elevation gain, the Sadler's Alaska Challenge is not for the faint of heart. Only the most aggressive, highly trained and talented athletes in the world are capable of meeting this challenge. To mark the 25th Anniversary of the race, organizers have carved out a brutal new route with a mountain top finish. Described by a race organizer, Heather Pulcinski, as "way more climbing, way more Alaskan, way more difficult and way more scenery," Denver Paralympian Matt Updike will attempt to conquer the new route and take home a win (a major feat which Matt accomplished once before in 2004).

After competing in Beijing in 2008, Matt was eager for his next major challenge. When asked about his participation in the race, Matt provided four reasons for taking on this tortuous and most difficult race on the planet, "It's the most challenging race in the world; it is the 25th anniversary of the event making it the most prestigious year ever; its an amazing way to promote the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation; and quite frankly, I like the pain!"

About Matt Updike: In September of 1997 at 26 yrs old, Matt was in an automobile accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Matt was an extremely active guy at the time that had moved out west a couple of years before the accident from Upstate NY to experience the mountains of Colorado. An avid skier, mountaineer and cyclist prior to the accident, Matt continues to do many of these things albeit in a different fashion. Since that life changing moment, Matt has focused on what he can do and made the most of life. Cycling, more specifically hand cycling, has became his true calling. Matt's fundraising page can be found at http://TeamReeveAllStars.kintera.org/mattupdikechallengealaska

About the Reeve Foundation The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. For more information, and to review the entire list of Quality of Life grant recipients, please visit our website at www.ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-225-0292.

Matt Updike's Race Site: http://TeamReeveAllStars.kintera.org/mattupdikechallengealaska

    Media Contact: Maggie  Goldberg
    800-225-0292 x7115
    media@ChristopherReeve.org

    Kathryn Murray
    303-847-9933
    kathryn@ThePattonGroupInc.com


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SOURCE Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
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