24 Hours in the Canyon

After being canceled due to flooding last year, the only twenty-four hour mountain and road bike event in the country is being held at Palo Duro Canyon and itâ??s to raise money for a great cause.

The seventh annual 24 Hours In The Canyon kicked off Saturday afternoon, hosting around 2,000 road and mountain bicyclists.

The event is held each year to help raise money for cancer research and treatments. This year the committee hopes to send more than 130,000 dollars in donations to the Don and Sybil Harrington Center.

Event Director, Ryan Parnell started the event after he had a cancer scare of his own.

He says he gets emotional every year because after all of the hard work and preparation, it all happens at once.

â??It's just a great way to start the weekend,â?? Parnell says â??To see all these people that come out and support this crazy thing that we put on and raise a lot of money for cancer patients here in our region.â??

Cancer survivors lined the starting point, with signs and cowbells, to send off competitors.

Survivors Emily McReynolds and BK Gearn say the event creates a family; People riding for the same cause with similar stories. McReynolds was treated at the Harrington Center, making this event dear to her heart.

Knowing that so many people joined together for people like them, Gearn says, â??Itâ??s amazingâ?¦It really is.â??

Many other events besides bike riding are also being held throughout the weekend. Campsites are set up for some family and friend fun time and giveaways from sponsors will also occur throughout the twenty-four hours.

Colon cancer survivor, Cathy Pruiett says her favorite part of the 24 hours is that it's not only fun, but meaningful, knowing that people are working together to help fight and find a cure for cancer.

She says, â??Everyone out here probably has someone that was affected; a family member, a friend, someone that they know that's had cancer.â??

Bikers will fill the trails and roadways this weekend as they ride for a cure and because cancer does not sleep, neither will they.