(Photo by BYU Football)
PROVO, Utah - With a Thursday BYU football game against Boise State on the horizon, a collection of fans and former players are making the 460-mile bike ride from Provo, Utah, to Boise to honor a special group of individuals.
The BYU football program has been honoring Thursday’s Heroes since the fall of 2007. The purpose of this program is to honor children and families who are facing significant life challenges.
The BYU football program, later coupled with the Holly and Bronco Mendenhall Foundation, arranges for the families to attend Thursday’s football practice prior to every game. After practice, the team presents the family with gifts and autographed memorabilia as a token of appreciation for the strength they had proven in adversity. Since 2007 there have been more than 100 such heroes honored by the foundation.
On Sept. 17, a group of these Heroes, along with Holly Mendenhall, her three sons, and former BYU players, will assemble at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, to begin a historic bike ride to Boise, Idaho.
More than twenty hero families will participate, either to bike or be pushed from the Student Athlete Building (SAB) practice fields to LaVell Edwards Stadium to kick off the event.
Former BYU linebacker Markell Staffieri, a member of the first Cougar squad to participate in Thursday’s Heroes, is one of eight former players who will make the ride from Provo to Boise. So far 18 people have committed to ride all 460 miles. Other former players making the ride include Brett Denney, Kyle Tew, Eddie Kehl, Joe Semanoff, Roy Ward and former BYU soccer player, Brock Blake.
No registration is necessary to participate in any portion of the ride. Participants must sign a waiver and all riders must be wearing helmets.
For more information about the Holly & Bronco Mendenhall Foundation and donations, visit www.broncomendenhall.com. If you would like to nominate a Thursday’s Hero, email Cort Trejo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For up to date information during the ride, visit facebook.com/thursdaysheroes.
Monday Sept. 17: Day 1 Summary –
1:30 p.m. – Heroes and families arrive at the SAB practice fields to fill out waivers
Leave: 2:15 p.m. from the SAB practice fields
Arrive: 2:35 p.m. at LaVell Edwards Stadium for first stop (drinks and snacks provided)
Ride will continue on Canyon Road until they arrive at the LDS stake center at 345 E 4524 N. Here, all heroes still on the ride will stop while Markel Staffieri’s group and all other interested riders will continue to Brigham City with rest stops every 30 miles.
Segment 2 –LDS Stake Center to Jordan Park
Approx. 29 miles of mostly bike trail
Leave: 3:30 p.m.
Arrive: 5:40 p.m.
Segment 3 – Jordan Park to Ellison Park (Layton)
Approx. 30 miles of all bike trail
Leave: 5:40 p.m.
Arrive: 7:30 p.m.
Segment 4 – Ellison Park to Lindsay Park (Brigham City)
Approx. 30 miles of paved roads and bike trails (lights needed)
Leave: 7:30 p.m.
Arrive: 9:10 p.m.
Day 1 approx. 122 miles
For a map of Day 1, visit http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/113455673 *
Tuesday Sept. 18: Day 2 Summary – Brigham City to Burley, Idaho
Leave: 8:00 a.m. from Fishburn Park with a few heroes, who can ride as long as they want
Approx. 151 miles
For a map of Day 2, visit http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/113457121 *
Wednesday Sept. 19: Day 3 Summary – Burley, Idaho to Glenns Ferry, Idaho
Leave: 8:00 a.m. from North Park with a few heroes, who can ride as long as they want
Approx. 120 miles
For a map of Day 3, visit http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/113457787 *
Thursday Sept. 20: Day 4 Summary – Glenns Ferry, Idaho into Boise
6:30 a.m. – Riders will be driven out to Glenns Ferry, Idaho
8:00 a.m. – Begin ride from Glenns Ferry, Idaho (no heroes)
1:15 p.m. – All participating in the ride into Boise need to be at Lucky Peak State Park to fill out waiver
2:00 p.m. – Riders arrive at Lucky Peak State Park and greeted by 100+ BYU Alumni, friends and a few heroes
2:30 p.m. – Depart from Lucky Peak
4:00 p.m. – Arrive at Bronco Stadium
10-mile option and 18-mile option on Thursday
For a map of Day 4, visit http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/126694521
* Food locations on maps are meeting spots