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Gus Kenworfthy reflects on his seven days on AIDS/LifeCycle and raising a record $243,000

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It's hard to put into words what this past week has meant to me but it was quite a journey, both physically and emotionally. By the end of day two I was questioning why I ever even signed up. I was tired, my legs ached, I was bored out of my mind and all I wanted was for the ride to end. Throughout the week things started to shift though and as we got closer and closer to Los Angeles I began to feel sad that it was coming to an end. The people I met along the way were some of the sweetest, most patient and most generous that I've ever known. Everyone had their own story behind partaking – but on night 6, during a seaside candle-lit vigil commemorating the lives we lost to the AIDS epidemic, it became very clear to me the real reason and importance of our participation. I am so thankful to have been a part of this year's ride and I'm already looking forward to next year's (even if my ass isn't). I pledged to raise $1,000,000 for the cause and although I didn't complete that goal I'm going to participate every year until that dream is realized. If anybody is considering riding next year, I genuinely encourage you to do so. For this year's ALC I've currently raised over $243,000 (although there are still donations that I'm expecting and my page is still open for any of you who want to help!). My efforts exceeded the previous highest fundraiser more than threefold and I am so incredibly thankful to each and every one of you who contributed to that. Whether you donated, posted, shared, commented, bought a product or simply rooted me on, I can't express my gratitude and appreciation enough. I couldn't have done this without you all! I also want to give a special thank you to all the people in all the tiny towns along the route who stood outside with signs and balloons, snacks and music – y'all were truly a sight for sore eyes every single time.

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