There’s something incredibly special about roses. Beyond their beauty, they’ve come to hold great significance to many different people. In some cases, they’ve even become tangible symbols of hope and strength. Take LIVESTRONG’s annual Ride for the Roses, where a single rose has come to symbolize the overcoming of life’s toughest obstacles.
The annual Ride for the Roses will be returning to Austin, Texas on October 17th-19th. Now in its 18th year, the Ride for the Roses continues to reward LIVESTRONG’s most charitable fundraisers. The Team LIVESTRONG Challenge now runs concurrent with the annual event and has even expanded into cities including Davis, Philadelphia, and, of course, Austin.
It wasn’t until 2001, that a man named Mark Hayes first donated roses to be given out to all the participants in the Challenge, and, of course, those roses would be the signature color of LIVESTRONG– yellow. Since that charitable act in 2001, tens of thousands of roses have been gifted to those that cross the finish line.
The finish line tradition continues. As participants reach designated points throughout the course, they receive a single yellow rose. Receiving the flower has become a point of pride for those that take on the Challenge. The finish line has become very meaningful to those who have battled cancer and crossing it has come to symbolize the fact that they can overcome any obstacle. LIVESTRONG believes the yellow roses play a big role in that celebration claiming that “roses symbolize survivors’ future, health, hope, inspiration and strength.”
Cancer survivors themselves, alongside loved ones that are riding for the memory of those that have been lost or to honor those still fighting, will once again come together in Austin. Even those that don’t have the strength or balance to travel the course will ride stationary bikes at the finish line in a show of solidarity and perseverance. Each participant that crosses that finish line will receive a yellow rose, illustrating how roses have truly become synonymous with positivity.
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