‘A powerful community’: Thousands join Obliteride to help cure cancer faster

Annual bike ride and walk/run empowers people to fundraise for research and care
A little boy in an orange Obliteride shirt runs ahead of a big group of 5K runners in matching orange Obliteride shirts. It’s a sunny day, and he’s smiling at the camera.
Obliteride 5K participants leave the starting line, August 12, 2023, at the University of Washington in Seattle Photo by Connor O'Shaughnessy / Fred Hutch News Service

Cheers, sun and big hearts came together on August 11 and 12, as a community of more than 4,300 participants and volunteers gathered for Obliteride, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center’s annual summer bike ride, 5K walk/run and fundraiser. Thousands celebrating in-person in Seattle, Washington, were joined by virtual participants around the world.

Now in its 11th year, Obliteride empowers people of all ages to help cure cancer faster by raising funds to advance innovative research and compassionate care at Fred Hutch. Since 2013, Obliteride’s dedicated participants and supporters have raised more than $45 million. Thanks to generous sponsors, 100% of every dollar participants raise goes directly to work helping to prevent, detect, treat and cure cancer.

“The work we are doing together is among the most important things we can do,” said Thomas J. Lynch Jr., MD, president and director of Fred Hutch and holder of the Raisbeck Endowed Chair as he addressed participants, volunteers and guests at Obliteride’s kickoff party. “Family matters, community matters, and fighting cancer faster matters. Thank you so much!”

Take a look at a few photos from the event weekend and see how this passionate community came together to honor loved ones, fuel research and care and help cure cancer faster.

Alan Schulkin on a bicycle waving at the camera, which is in front of him. Another rider is at his left, and there are orange banners and flags around them.
“Obliteride is personal,” said 11-year participant and three-time cancer survivor Alan Schulkin (left). “Without Fred Hutch,” he said to his fellow 25-mile riders before leaving the chute Saturday, “I wouldn’t have lived to see my sons married and in satisfying careers. Most of all, I wouldn’t have lived to see the lights of my life, my grandchildren. …We make a powerful community out here this morning. We’re here to give Fred Hutch the resources it needs to speed up research so that someday soon we can prevent, detect, treat and even cure every person of every cancer.” Photo by Connor O'Shaughnessy / Fred Hutch News Service
A woman with a child behind her reaches up high to write a name in chalk on a big black chalkboard that has lines for people to fill out who they Obliteride for. There are hundreds of names on the chalkboard.
An Obliterider stretches to add to the hundreds of names covering the Honor Wall, a moving Obliteride tradition in which people share the “why” that inspired their participation — including the names of loved ones they ride, walk, run and volunteer for, as well as honoring their own experiences with cancer. Photo by Connor O’Shaughnessy / Fred Hutch News Service
A group of people in matching blue and orange Obliteride jerseys are lined up posing in front of a six-foot-high sculpture that spells out "Obliteride" in big block letters. They’re outside in the sun.
Obliteride kicked off with its annual Friday Night Party at Seattle’s Gas Works Park, where participants, volunteers and guests snapped photos and swapped stories and high-fives. Team Orange, posing here, brings together colleagues, friends, family members and donors who, so far, have raised more than $50,000. Team Orange’s captain, Dr. Sandi Navarro, (second from left) is one of more than 900 Fred Hutch and UW Medicine employees and providers who joined with patients and loved ones to Obliteride this year in a powerful and personal show of mutual support and gratitude. Photo by Connor O’Shaughnessy / Fred Hutch News Service
Ten people standing under a Fred Hutch Obliteride sign outside in the sun, holding balloon letters that spell out the initials of their team, MSFT.
Members of Team Microsoft & Friends also grabbed a photo op in front of Lake Union and the Seattle skyline on Friday. The celebration included music from local bands, a catered dinner, temporary tattoos and more to rally participants before heading out early the next morning for Obliteride Day. Photo by Connor O’Shaughnessy / Fred Hutch News Service
Randy Bacon with his family and members of his team on stage on Obliteride Day. His children are standing with them.
At the start line for the 5K, Randy Bacon was joined by his wife, Cortney, his children and his team, Obliteride for Bacon, as he spoke to the crowd about his cancer experience. “Cancer doesn’t just affect one person. It affects an entire family,” said Bacon, who recently completed treatment for lymphoma. “I know all of you here today understand the power and sacrifice that caregivers and all the families make. So, let’s have a cheer for all the caregivers out there today!” Photo by Connor O’Shaughnessy / Fred Hutch News Service
A group of about ten happy people standing and waving their arms. They have handmade cheering signs, pom-poms, and an umbrella, and are celebrating and cheering Obliteriders on the route.
Volunteers representing Bank of America welcomed Obliteriders with a “wall of sound and spirit” as they approached the last leg of the ride. The group was one of many that lined the routes waving signs, ringing cowbells and cheering on participants. In all, 592 volunteers contributed their time, energy and smiles to make Obliteride shine. Photo by Connor O’Shaughnessy / Fred Hutch News Service
A man with his bike in his Obliteride jersey, and two children holding a sign that says, “Let’s go Daddy!”
Families also came out to cheer each other on and, in the case of rider David Peters, pause to read a personalized, made-with-love sign. More than 1,100 bikers pedaled, cheered and fundraised while riding 25-, 50- or 100-mile routes. Photo by Connor O’Shaughnessy / Fred Hutch News Service
A sunny photo of an man walking at left and woman at right rolling through in a motorized chair ahead of a group of about 50 Obliteride 5K participants wearing their orange 5K T-shirts.
Another 1,800-plus walkers, rollers and runners of all ages completed the Obliteride 5K in a sea of orange T-shirts. This year, all Obliteriders had the option to designate their fundraising to the area of Fred Hutch’s work that was the most meaningful to them, including a specific disease area, program, faculty member or clinician. Photo by Connor O’Shaughnessy / Fred Hutch News Service
A person in a helmet standing with their back to the camera at sunrise with a bicycle. Their jersey is black and orange and in white letters, it says, Cure Cancer Faster.
Amidst the crowds and the cheers, one Obliterider paused as the sun climbed above the horizon Saturday morning. Together, Obliteriders are powerful, as they contribute their passion, sweat and care to honor loved ones and help Fred Hutch improve and save lives. Photo by Connor O’Shaughnessy / Fred Hutch News Service


Obliteride fundraising continues through Saturday, September 30. Donate today at Obliteride.org and help cure cancer faster. And save the date for the next Obliteride: August 10, 2024.

View and share more Obliteride pictures on Facebook and Instagram (@Obliteride/#Obliteride).

Thanks to the Sloan Foundation, University Village, Amazon, Edward Jones, Sinegal Family Foundation, KING 5 and other sponsors and partners for their generous support of Obliteride. Their dedication makes this event possible.

A rider crosses the finish line at Obliteride 2023
A rider crosses the finish line at Obliteride 2023. Mark your calendar now for next year's event on August 10, 2024. Photo by Connor O’Shaughnessy / Fred Hutch News Service

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