Pat Lawson Muse
The Best Buddies High Schools program at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va. helps high schoolers with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities pair up for learning and unconditional acceptance.
The Audi Best Buddies challenge kicks into gear Oct. 20, with more than 2,500 bicyclists, walkers and runners expected to raise money for people with intellectual disabilities.
The Challenge is open to participants of all ages and abilities, which fits with the Best Buddies’ mission of providing friendship, employment and leadership training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“I’m already all pumped up,” said Erin Thompson, a Best Buddies Ambassador, told News4’s Angie Goff.
In its third year, the event will feature three cycling options: 100 miles, 50 miles and 20 miles. The 100-mile route will be led by Tour de France cyclist George Hincapie.
"We are really excited about the new century ride," Anthony K. Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International, said in a statement. "We have spent months developing challenging routes through the District, Montgomery and Loudoun Counties and are extremely honored to have Audi and George Hincapie on hand to lead the way.”
The event also features the Carl Lewis Challenge, a 5K run/walk chaired and led by Olympic gold medalist Lewis.
Other celebrities expected to attend include actress Lauren Potter, star of "Glee" and a member of Best Buddies' Board of Directors; News4 anchor Doreen Gentzler; 10-time Olympic medalist swimmer Gary Hall, Jr. and his father Gary Hall, Sr., a three-time Olympic medalist swimmer; Olympic cyclist Bobby Lea; professional triathlete Omar Nour; radio personality Tommy McFly; Miss District of Columbia USA 2012 Monique Thompkins; Miss Teen USA 2012 Logan West; Miss Virginia USA 2012 Catherine Muldoon; and Maria and Anthony Shriver, who will join other Shriver family members in honor of Eunice Shriver's long-time commitment to improving the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.