Embden Man Has Been Trekking Across Maine for 25 Years

On Father’s Day weekend, the American Lung Association of the Northeast will celebrate the 30th annual Trek Across Maine. More than 2,000 cyclists will be departing from Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry and finishing at Steamboat Landing Park in Belfast. The event is the largest fundraiser for the nonprofit organization nationwide and hopes to raise $2 million in 2014. 

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Ken Ingalls of Embden (right) is pictured with his son-in-law Tracy Ames (left). The two men have ridden together and volunteered alongside each other during many Treks Across Maine.

One person who is key to the smooth operation of the annual event is Ken Ingalls of Embden who has been involved in the Trek for what he describes as “25 amazing years.”   “I trekked for 10 years beginning in 1988 until a rotator cuff injury prevented me from riding,” says Ingalls.  “For about another 10 years I worked alongside my daughter, Jenn, marking the route before becoming a volunteer SAG or ‘support and gear’ driver.  I enjoy every role I’ve ever had at the Trek.  Being involved and helping to make a difference in the lives of people living with lung disease and their families is very important to me.”

Ingalls is one of the more than 750volunteers who make the Trek Across Maine the expert operation that it is. As a SAG driver, Ingalls drives along the cycling route looking for cyclists who might be having mechanical difficulty or need other support while they are on the road. Ingalls and other SAG drivers’ vehicles are equipped with air pumps and other supplies commonly needed to repair a bike while on the road.

Ingalls said he first became involved with the Lung Association so many years ago because he had tuberculosis (TB) as a child.  He considers supporting the organization “payback.” The Lung Association was founded in 1904 to combat tuberculosis (TB), which was the most dreaded disease at the time. As TB was brought under control, the organization’s focus expanded to all lung diseases including asthma, tobacco control and environmental health issues.

“The Lung Association could not put on the Trek Across Maine without the near  seven hundred and fifty volunteers we have at the event each and every year,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO.  “We are especially grateful to volunteers like Ken Ingalls who come back year after year and whose years of experience in running this event is invaluable.”

“Supporting the Lung Association and the Trek Across Maine is very important to me,” says Ingalls.  “That’s why I’ve been with the Trek 26 out of 30 years in some capacity.  I am looking forward to this 30 year anniversary event and many more after that.”

  

On Friday, June 13, more than 2,000 will leave from Sunday River Ski Resort and make the 180-mile Trek to Belfast. Cyclists come from all over the country to be a part of the weekend. All proceeds benefit the American Lung Association and help fund valuable research, education and advocacy.

 

To learn more about the Trek across Maine, to register, or to make a tax-deductible donation that helps save lives, please visit Trekmaine30.org.  You may also visit the website to learn more about the American Lung Association of the Northeast’s other bike treks in Cape Cod and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.