September 05, 2012 - In 1997 Marc DesRosiers rode his bike from Colorado to Michigan in 13 days, traveling 100 miles per day. In 2007 he ran his first Detroit Marathon with his brother.
Marc DeRoisers rides his bike five to seven hours every saturday to train for his 1,400 mile journey to Michigan. Photo submitted. (click for larger version)
Ever since his dad passed of cancer in 2008, he has wanted to combine his bike trip with a marathon and this year DesRosiers will get his chance.
On October 7 DesRosiers will begin his 1,400 mile journey from Denver Colorado to Detroit. Averaging around 100 miles per day, DesRosiers is planning to arrive in Detroit on October 21, just in time to get off his bike and run in The Detroit Free Press Marathon.
Not only was the former Lake Orion graduate inspired to make the trip because of his father, but he was also inspired by three little Lake Orion Children: "Mighty Max" Milewski, Nicole Burton and Faith Aisthorpe, all of whom have life threatening health issues. DesRosiers said he was friends with and graduated with each of their moms.
While on Facebook one night looking at the photos of Max, Nicole and Faith, feeling choked up over the photos of the kids going to their various doctor appointments, he asked his wife if she cared if he took two weeks off of work to do a bike ride and marathon ride to benefit the three kids.
"She said 'it's a really selfless thing, I totally support that, I can't believe you would want to do that'," said DesRosiers. "My response was 'I can suffer for two weeks, these families suffer every day of their lives.'"
The proceeds for the event will go to benefit non-profit cause "Lake Orion Loves," which was started by DeRoisers and a number of his other graduate friends of Lake Orion High School. DeRoisers said his bike and run was just the spark to ignite Lake Orion Loves, but his friends and fellow graduates of non-profit Sister Souls have taken it to the next level.
"Sister Souls took the ball and ran. They've held a 5K race and multiple events. This has really turned into something beyond a bike ride and run," he said. "People from our high school got together to fuel Lake Orion Loves and I was really blown away how it snowballed in a good way."
DesRosiers said their goal is to raise $100,000 for Max, Nicole, and Faith, so far they've raised $21,000.
"If we hit a goal of $100,000, $30,000 (per child) it is just going to be a drop in the bucket with all the medical bills they have," he said.
DesRosiers graduated from Lake Orion High School, played football and was on the wrestling team that won the state championship. After wrestling heavyweight at Easter, Michigan, where he graduated with a BA in Speech Communication, he took up mountain biking to help him lose weight. After falling in love with the sport and taking third in a state competition, he moved with his family to Colorado in 1995, where he currently races semi-pro.
DesRosiers has been training the past 10 months to prepare for his upcoming adventure. Living one to two hours outside of Denver, he makes the trip once a week to Denver to workout with a professional trainer, which includes an hour of running, hour of sprints, then lifting weights for an hour.
He works out six days a week 15-25 hours a week in addition to having three kids and three businesses. Monday is his day off.
On Saturdays he rides his bike for five to seven hours and Sundays are his days to run three to five hours.
"Weather is never an option, if it's raining, I get geared up and run in the rain," he said. "If it's 90 degrees, I run and ride in that too."
DesRosiers said his trip will be all back roads.
"Leaving Denver I will be taking a highway that parallels I-80 the whole way. Basically it will be a mile North on U.S. 30, and U.S. 30 follows all the way to Gary, Indiana. At about Gary ,Indiana I jump on U.S. 12 (Michigan Ave.) and will take that from New Buffalo all the way to downtown Detroit," he said. "I do have a college buddy, Joe Goudesuene, that's going to the last 200 miles with me, so that will be nice."
Even knowing what the journey will do to his own body physically, DesRosiers is excited to do it.
"It's not going to be easy. I'm going to have saddle sores and legs that are fired," he said. "But I'm going to have these three kids to motivate me and help galvanize my journey."
Those interested in donating can click on the "Donate Now" tab at lakeorionloves.com or send a check to: Sister Souls Inc., PO Box 728, Lake Orion Michigan 48361.
For more information to help support and attend future events visit:
Sister Souls Inc. and Lake Orion Loves on Facebook.
"We would love to see the community attend the Finish Line Celebration on Sunday, October 21 at 1 PM at Genitti's in Northville, it's something that people are excited about," he said. "We just hope we can reach our goal of a $100,000."
Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.