Four world-class ultra cyclists known as the Soaring Coots have come together to raise awareness of the mental health challenges facing youth today, the healing work of wilderness therapy and to raise funds for Sky’s the Limit Fund (STLF). Therapeutic Wilderness programs exist to provide a rich, intensive, clinically-proven therapeutic experience for a child and their family struggling with mental health and addiction, providing tools to get better. However, this level of care is costly, and beyond the reach of many families. STLF provides much needed financial support to families in need while their partner wilderness programs match their funding with a reduction in tuition.
During these crazy Covid-19 times, The Soaring Coots have found a unique way to pay it forward and help youth in crisis continue to get the support of wilderness therapy so many of them desperately need. Each of the riders has their own story to tell, facing mental health challenges in their own families. Riding has become their platform to make a difference. They are now well on their way to their goal of winning the Mountain West ultra cup and raising $50,000 to help transform the lives of youth in crisis.
The team crushed the first race of the three race Mountain West series in July – Race Across Oregon. They won the race and set a new course record. Coming up quickly now are the final two races of the series:
- Hoo Doo 500 (August 29-30): 500 Miles, targeting sub 24 hours (the current overall team record.) – Riding out of St George Utah, this course has a very fast record and elevations as high as 9,000 feet – three of the Soaring Coots live at sea level! It will take everything they have to both win and attempt to beat the speed set by a much younger team.
- Silver State 508 (Sept 18-20): 508 miles, targeting sub 25 hours. A 508 mile route across Nevada. – This is a fast course record to attempt on a course with huge temperature changes and a lot of climbing.
Mark and Shane are both solo winners of this race (2018 and 2019 respectively). For Paul and Yann it will be their first time. Each rider will have to be on their best form to make this happen. The team acknowledges that as hard as it can get for them during their races, it is nothing compared to what young people are facing when they get to the wilderness and start their healing journey.
Hard work, dedication and commitment is the commonality.
If you would like to cheer the Soaring Coots on during their adventure, learn more about them individually & DONATE to help break the barrier of cost for wilderness therapy: