Enzo Figueres is an avid mountain biker but will be participating in his first road bike tour this May – with his son in a bike trailer! – as part of the Race to End Duchenne team at the TD Five Boro Bike Tour in New York City. Enzo and his team of friends and colleagues have raised nearly $15,000 so far, all of which will be matched by Enzo’s company.
Why did you choose to join the Race to End Duchenne team?
I need to thank my sister for inspiring me to join the Race to End Duchenne team. My sister lives in London and she sent me a beautiful letter soon after we found out about our child’s Duchenne diagnosis. In the letter, she mentioned that she (and us) should try to participate and create awareness about this condition. Prior to my son’s diagnosis, Duchenne was unknown to us.
She also shared with us that she personally had signed up for a half marathon in London in October to benefit DMD UK. Running with a goal gave her strength to train hard but sadly there weren’t as many race events for Duchenne in the UK as here in the US. That’s when I decided to check the Race to End Duchenne part of PPMD’s website. As a bike enthusiast, I was happy to find out that there was also a bike race, and the TD Five Boro Bike Tour seemed like a fun challenge especially if I could bring my son with me on a bike trailer!
Finally, my sister, who inspired me to take part in the race will travel here from Europe with her partner to cheer for us during the race.
How do you prepare for races?
This is my first bike race. I’m an avid mountain biker but I’ve never had the time or motivation to compete in a race before. I do now. I ride my hometown trails every weekend, no matter the weather; luckily this winter has been mild without any significant snow accumulation so I have been able to ride all winter. During the weekdays I sometimes ride an indoor trainer. I also try to eat healthy, especially during the week.
Do you have any fundraising and/or training tips or pointers you would share with other runners – either advice someone gave you or you’ve discovered on your own?
I tried to use as many ways to communicate with people as possible: phone calls, e-mails, even writing an article in the local newspaper. Social networks are a great way to communicate instantly with a lot of people. I have also come to realize that they are a very effective tool to create awareness around, and raise funds to fight, Duchenne. It has been a great way to share videos and other items of inspiration. Nowadays we live our lives too fast so few people read long paragraphs. I have found it is more effective to create short videos with the purpose of creating awareness about this cruel disease and to promote the race.
Duchenne is cruel, however, there is not a stigma, it’s just bad luck; it’s not caused by a pathogen and it is not contagious. So being open about this helps will help educate people about the disease and hopefully help parents to detect red flags earlier. I think an overall awareness of the disease will hopefully help find a cure sooner.
What will be the first thing you do when you finish your next race?
I plan to attend PPMD’s Annual Conference in Orlando and I plan to continue racing and creating more awareness. I plan to stay connected with the great people at PPMD and help as much as possible, in any way I can. I believe if that if there is hope for our kids it is through organizations like this! I am thankful for the time, the dedication and the passion that everyone at PPMD has put into their work!
Join Enzo in the Race to End Duchenne
Race to End Duchenne is Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy’s signature program that raises funds to support our mission to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy. When you join the Race to End Duchenne you are supporting PPMD’s vital work in advancing research, care, and advocacy to help those with Duchenne live longer, stronger lives. Join the team at the TD Five Boro Bike Tour in New York City or find a race near you!Join the Race