Nearly 900 People Join Rebecca Rusch’s “Everest” Challenge for COVID-19 Relief


Over $130,000 Raised By Global Community Who Biked and Ran Over 10 Million Vertical Feet Over Memorial Day Weekend

KETCHUM, Idaho (May 27th, 2020) — As Memorial Day comes to a close in the United States, 890 athletes from all over the World rest their weary legs after heeding Rebecca Rusch’s call to complete an “Everest” challenge on their own in support of her Be Good Foundation’s efforts to aid COVID-19 relief, raising over $130,000 for the CDC Foundation, People For Bikes and World Bicycle Relief.

Rebecca Rusch during her "Everest" challenge to raise money for COVID-19 research. Photo courtesy Be Good Foundation.
Rebecca Rusch during her “Everest” challenge to raise money for COVID-19 research. Photo courtesy Be Good Foundation.

Rusch herself led the charge, as she usually does, by example, “The physical challenge of riding the equivalent elevation of Mount Everest (29,029 ft) was a first for me and a massive undertaking. I’m an endurance athlete and have a ton of experience in multi-hour and multi-day events, but I had never attempted that much elevation gain in a single day.”

Rebecca Rusch rides through the night during her 23-hour “Everest” challenge. Photo courtesy Be Good Foundation.

Rusch completed 21 laps up and down the rugged mountain road leading to the infamous Trail Creek Summit just outside of her hometown of Ketchum, ID. Despite freezing temperatures and over 23 hours of non-stop riding, Rusch said she felt surprisingly strong from start to finish. “I was motivated to complete my own personal challenge, but the true strength and motivation that kept my pedals turning hour after hour came from the knowledge that hundreds of people around the world were also pushing themselves to proactively be part of this global healing.”

Giddy Up Challenge Queen’s Everest Winners

  • Top Male Bike (Outdoor) – Jules Goguely, 9:39
  • Top Female Bike (Outdoor) – Katie Hall, 10:01
  • Top Male Bike (Indoor) – Tim Cusick, 11:58
  • Top Female Bike (Indoor) – Claudia Behring, 9:55
  • Top Male Run (Outdoor) – Gary Gellin, 13:45
  • Top Female Run (Outdoor) – Magda Boulet, 16:55
  • Top Male Run (Indoor) – N/A
  • Top Female Run (Indoor) -N/A

Katie Hall, of Oakland, CA., threw her hat in the ring with just a week to prepare and walked away with an Everesting™ World Record, completing 29,029 vertical feet of climbing in just 10 hours and one minute, “I decided on Monday to do this and I put all my nervous energy into preparing food for it. I haven’t ever spent that long on my bike or climbed that much.”

The 33-year-old road cyclist may not have climbed that much in a single day, but she was motivated to do good for the world in the best way she knows how “I’ve been trying to figure out what I can do as a cyclist to support those on the frontlines, and I am really grateful that Rebecca organised this event, creating an opportunity to bring cyclists together, support our essential workers, and for us to set big goals for ourselves that we can go after safely and responsibly.”

Giddy Up Challenge By The Numbers

  • 890 Participants
  • Over 10 Million Feet Climbed Collectively 53% Male / 47% Female Participation
  • $130,000 Raised for COVID-19 relief 43 of 50 US States
  • 11 Countries
  • Four Distances: 29,092ft (Everest), 15,885ft, 10,559ft & 5,295ft 1 World Record by Katie Hall
  • Age Range: 13 – 66
  • World’s Largest Combined Discipline Everest Attempt

Rusch officially launched the Be Good Foundation in 2019 with a mission to use the bicycle as a catalyst for healing, empowerment and evolution. The words “Be Good” are how her father, USAF Capt. Stephen Rusch signed his letters home from the Vietnam War. Rusch now uses those words to guide her and her efforts. She scheduled this inaugural event on Memorial Day weekend in honor of her father and all service members who are no longer with us.

“Rebecca’s Giddy Up Challenge fundraising will support COVID-19 relief programs providing public health, medical resources deployment, bikes for frontline healthcare workers, and cycling infrastructure for transportation in partnership with our Be Good Foundation beneficiaries. Together we are using the bicycle (and in this case, our running shoes) to deliver on that healing mission. We are thrilled to be able to award grant funds to three of our foundation partners: the CDC Foundation, World Bicycle Relief and People for Bikes,” said Erica Worden, Executive Director of the Be Good Foundation.

What’s next for Rebecca Rusch and her small, but mighty crew? Her annual Rebecca’s Private Idaho, a world-class gravel bike race, is only three months away, and you can be sure that she will find a way to motivate a huge group of people to jump on their bikes and make the world a better place.

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