Marathon spinners honor cancer fighters and victims

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SHELBURNE, Vt. (WCAX) The Shelburne Athletic club held a three-hour spin class marathon Saturday morning as part of their Colors for Cancer Ride event.

The goal was to raise money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and honor loved ones fighting the disease. Many were there in memory of Karen Newman.

Newman of Shelburne, was a world record breaking triathelete who competed for Team USA in numerous races. She was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2006, went through treatment and wrote a book about her experience.

She beat cancer again in 2016, but it came back last year. Newman passed away earlier this month.

"She did our Racevt.com races a bunch, amazing lady, great fighter, very powerful, and an inspiration to everybody," said Shelburne Athletic Club GM Rayne Herzog.

"I didn't know her personally but I've done some triathlons and I remember years ago, she was always in first, and, reading about her, she was an amazing woman," Susan Grimes, of Shelburne said.

Some knew Newman by her reputation, others knew her by name, but almost everyone at the Shelburne Athletic club knew the tremendous athlete she was.

"She was probably one of the most inspirational athletes I've ever met in my life, and human being; she inspires me and her life inspired me," said Rachel Stein of Charlotte.

In the time of Newman's passing, those impacted by her life look to athletics as a way to honor her memory .Friends assure that although she may be gone, her influence and energy are holding strong.

"I think Karen's impact on my lie was she, she had such faith, and she taught me to have faith, and to be fearless," Stein said.

The three-hour spin class invited participants to ride for family members and loved ones affected by cancer.

"I'm riding for my mother in law, who is currently battling lung cancer and Multiple Myeloma, so this really speaks to my heart," said Grimes.

For many on Saturday, it was a way to take the emotions they're feeling and spin it into good energy.

"People no matter where they are in their life, can always keep going, can muster up positive energy, be strong, and not give up," Herzog said.