Updated: 08/06/2014 10:40 PM
Created: 08/06/2014 5:17 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
Richard Mattson and Jim Reed took a casual road-bike trip along the North Shore Wednesday, but come Thursday they'll be Colorado bound for a big journey.
"I've never done an endurance event before," Mattson said. "I figured if you're going to start you might as well go big."
Big might be an understatement. Mattson and Reed are doing the Colorado Trail Race that is 550 miles long, climbs 70,000 vertical feet and there's 100 miles you have to hike.
"It's all single track, all in the mountains," Reed said. "You cross the Continental Divide 10 or 20 times."
In preparation, Mattson spent six days a week riding for four to five hours a day. His race goal?
"If I can do it in 8 days or less, I'd be the winner," Mattson said.
While that will be an accomplishment, the real champs will be Mattson's four-legged friends back home.
"What Rich is doing is coming from a heart of love," Friends of the Animals Executive Director Cindy Haglin said.
For every mile Mattson travels during the race, money will be donated to the FOA Humane Society in Cloquet.
"We see a grateful and supportive community many, many times throughout the year," Haglin said. "This is one example, and it a great one, of somebody who is doing what he can to serve the community and support a really good cause."
"If I complete the full 550, it will be $1,100 I can give to them," Mattson said.
Mattson credits his wife for helping him get ready for this major race. It starts Sunday in Denver.
If you want to help out, you can contact the Friends of the Animals Humane Society in Cloquet.
1418 Hwy 33 South
Cloquet, MN 55820
There's also a spaghetti dinner Saturday supporting the FOA shelter. It's at Atkins-Northland Funeral Home from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. It's $8 for adults and $5 for kids.
You can also follow Mattson during the race at: www.trackleaders.com/ctr14
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