You see amazing parts of Maine riding 100 miles, and you consume a LOT of bananas.

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Greetings from the #dempseychallenge @racerdy @baller_i_am_13

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This past weekend, the Dempsey Challenge took place in Lewiston Auburn. The event, now in it's 10th year, raises money for the Dempsey Center. Per it's website, the Dempsey Center provides a personalized, holistic and integrated approach to cancer prevention, education and support. All services are provided at no cost to anyone impacted by cancer regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances or where they receive their medical treatment.

Throughout the weekend, participants took part in a walk, 5k, and cycling routes of various lengths. I chose the 100 mile ride, which would take riders from downtown Lewiston, to the coast of Maine, and back. Here are 5 takeaways.

Credit: Andy Austin

Get Along - The way every town/city/organization along the various routes support this is event is pretty special. From the time you check-in, to crossing the finish line, the sense of community is a constant in this event.

Credit: Andy Austin

Find New Roads - This year, the organizers changed the routes for cyclists. What used to be a jaunt through western part of the state, had riders headed in the other direction. The 100 mile route took us to the very edge of Maine on Bailey's Island.

 Dread New Hills - If by 75% of the way through this year's event you didn't feel challenged, that was wiped out headed back in Lewiston/Auburn. The final 13 miles had me wishing the ice age had shaved even more rock off these new, challenging hills.

Credit: Andy Austin

Make New Friends - Whether through a personal journey, or the something light hearted, you're bound to make new friends along the way. I stayed attached to the Old & in the Way crew.

Credit: Andy Austin

Patrick's Presence - While many celebrity endorsed events might net you a selfie, or the hint of being in the same area, the Dempsey Challenge is different. Most know the backstory of Patrick's roots, and why the event takes place. 10 years in, and still basks in the celebration/hope/healing, and is always a gracious host. He takes time for everyone.