Darby Harris rode nearly 121 miles on his bicycle Saturday (Sept. 17) during a fundraiser for Western Carolina University’s student Biology Club, and in the process he burned 5,616 calories while climbing just over 26,000 feet in elevation. But he wasn’t quite done.
Harris, a three-time WCU alumnus and current lecturer in biology, rode the out-and-back loop between WCU’s Health and Human Sciences Building and the Jackson County Airport on his road bike a total of 47 times. He had pledged to complete the loop one time for each $20 donation, and thus raised $940 with his Sept. 17 effort, but some late donations that came in as the ride was progressing upped the ante to 52 loops. Harris said he ran out of daylight, so he returned to the route Wednesday, Sept. 21, to complete the additional five loops and raise a total of $1,040 for the club.
The fundraising ride was dubbed the “Mt. Everest Challenge” by Harris because it involved climbing the equivalent of Mt. Everest. Money raised will be used to fund educational events through the school year.