The top two fundraisers for the Anchor House Ride for Runaways are both veterinarians.
Mark Smith, who is a veterinarian in Hopewell and is participating in his 28th ride this week, has raised more than $22,000 this year.
Daniel Keenan, who is completing his 10th ride, lives in Princeton and owns Foundation Equine Wellness and Performance in Crosswicks. He has raised almost $12,000 so far for the 40th annual ride this week.
Keenan, 59, completed his first Ride for Runaways back in 1993 with several other friends in their 30s who were body builders. “I took a long break after I had kids,” he said. He was a runner, but after three knee surgeries, his doctor told him it was time to hang up his running shoes. He decided to start cycling again, and joined the Ride for Runaways in 2008. Two hip surgeries have not kept him from coming back.
He raises money for the ride by sending an email out to about 3,000 of his closest friends and colleagues about Anchor House’s mission to help runaways and abused teens and young adults. His supporters include friends from high school and veterinary school.
The cyclists and support crew members hope to raise $525,000 this week to support the work of Anchor House. So far they have raised about $385,000. Cyclists collect donations from friends, family members and colleagues for the nonprofit that serves young people and families in the greater Mercer County area.
Keenan and the more than 150 cyclists participating in the Ride for Runaways this week earned their pledges on Monday, biking 72 miles and climbing about 4,200 feet in the heat. One of the hills had a grade of about 19 percent. Many of the cyclists had to get off their bikes and walk because the hill was too steep to pedal up.
The cyclists started the day in Winchester, Va., biking across the tip of West Virginia, crossing the Potomac River into Maryland, and passing the Antietam battlefields before reaching Frederick, Md. On Tuesday, the cyclists will pedal 58 miles to Gettysburg, Pa.
For more information about Anchor House or to make a donation, visit Anchorhouseride.org. Planet Princeton is the media sponsor for the 40th annual ride.