Buffalo CycleNation Challenge finishes with local winners, national recognition


The American Heart Association is excited to announce the winners of the nationally recognized CycleNation Challenge. The first-ever six-week challenge format for the popular Buffalo CycleNation had 275 people moving and raising funds in the fight against stroke and heart disease.

More than 25 teams competed for six weeks in the Challenge. Teams earned points based on weekly activity challenges, local scavenger hunt clues, and on team members’ fundraising. Participants could bike, walk, run, skip, jump, dance or move however they wanted to compete.

Congratulations to the CycleNation Challenge winning teams! Winners were announced during a livestream event Wednesday morning.

  • Challenge Winners
    Pulse of CycleNation winner Michael Utz on the CycleNation scavenger hunt
    • Gold Team: National Fuel
    • Silver Team: HEALTHeLINK
    • Bronze Team: M&T Bank
  • Additional awards
    • Top Fundraiser: Kathryn Nikicsh-Hoffman, Team National Fuel
    • Top Fundraising Team: National Fuel
    • Top Fundraising Company: National Fuel
    • Heart of the Mission: Rich Products
    • Most Spirited Team: Jacob’s Institute and Young at Heart
    • Going for the Gold (most miles logged): National Fuel
    • Team Captain of the Year: Patricia Farrell, M&T Bank
    • Pulse of CycleNation: Michael Utz
National Fuel team captain Christa Durshordwe

“We are so honored to win this challenge. Congratulations to everyone that participated,” said Christa Durshordwe, National Fuel team captain, “We had a great group of employees who were so eager to participate each week. We had a lot of fun with it, sharing pictures and stories each week.”

“What a testament to the people here in Western New York,” said Dr. Elad Levy, CycleNation co-chairman and Co-Director of the Kaleida Health Stroke Center, during the livestreamed awards ceremony. “This is such an important cause. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in this country. Hopefully, we will make a dent in this disease and continue to help Americans live longer, healthier lives.”

The Buffalo CycleNation is also getting national recognition. The event came in second place across the country for miles logged with more than 23,000 miles! Three-time stroke survivor Nina Harding, of Clarence, will also be featured on the nationwide One CycleNation event.

One CycleNation is a livestream event celebrating CycleNation and its accomplishments in the fight against stroke. Celebrity speakers include stroke survivors Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson and This is Us and Psych actor Timothy Omundson. One CycleNation will be held on World Stroke Day, Thursday, October 29th, at 6:30p.m. Participants can watch the livestream on Facebook and YouTube.

The goal of CycleNation is to use cycling and other exercise activities to improve heart and brain health, while raising funds to continue the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s vital community programs, lifesaving research and advocacy efforts to end heart disease and stroke.

Being physically active is key to preventing heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers, with stroke being the No. 3 killer in Western New York. To improve overall cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.

CycleNation is nationally sponsored by Amgen and locally sponsored by Mobile Primary Care, Elderwood, KeyBank, M&T Bank, Medtronic, Jacobs Institute, Thurman Thomas Family Foundation, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Rich Products, UBNS, Rise Fitness, Rebel Ride, Revolution, Jada Blitz Fitness, Harter Secrest & Emery, LLP, and media sponsors WGRZ and Buffalo Healthy Living.