Fitchburg, MA – Fitchburg native Ron Goguen and his family currently living in Hopedale, Ma. have teamed up with Atwood Racing Services to hold the first Annual New England Regional Cyclocross Championship at Coolidge Park in Fitchburg, MA, on December 18th and 19th, 2010. Spectators are welcome and encouraged to attend the festivities, as there is no admission fee to spectate. The race will be held rain, snow, or shine, and will benefit research efforts for Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a chronic lung disease which affects children and young adults.
Goguen got into cycling while attending Fitchburg State College and passed on the love of bike racing to his children. Several of the children have taken up the sport on a regular basis and have been racing for many years. In 2010, The Goguens joined forces with CF doctor and cyclist from Pennsylvania, Dr. James Wilson, to start a cycling team to help raise awareness and money for CF research. The Goguens run the New England branch of Team CF.
The CF cause is near and dear to the family’s heart, as two of Goguen’s children were born with CF. Manny, who when born was looking at a life expectancy of 18 years, is now 19 and ranked 28th in the country by cyclingdirt.org, and has attained a sixth place finish at nationals and was invited to race in Europe for the USA in a world cup event two years ago. Younger brother Tom has finished fifth for his age group in the national championships in cyclocross.
Due to advances in technology and cf medicines the average life expectancy of those born with CF is now 38 years old. A relatively new breakthrough with CF therapy is how therapeutic and beneficial vigorous aerobic exercise is for CF patients. The Goguen brothers are spearheading the efforts trying to get the word out of how good hard exercise is for those suffering with CF. Their CF doctor, Robert Zwerdling from UMASS Memorial Worcester, is pleased that the boys race a full cycling schedule and agrees it keeps them much healthier than if they didn’t and it keeps them out of the hospital. Their doctor also noted that a sport like cycling keeps them current on their daily medication regiment, as they need to keep up with their meds in order to compete at a high level.
Cyclocross is a cycling discipline that originated in Europe to keep top pros in shape through the colder months. The bike used looks much like a road race bike (as would be seen at the Longsjo Classic race held every July), except with mountain bike brakes and knobby tires. The spectator friendly courses are set up so that a person can see almost the whole lap from one location. There are man made obstacles put in the course to force riders to dismount and navigate the obstacles and remount their bike as quickly as possible. The courses are laid down on multiple surfaces, including asphalt, sand, grass, woods and gravel; all of which will be used in the Coolidge Park race. The event is very family friendly; racers attending this years regional championship event range in age from nine to sixty-nine years old, with many having entered their entire family in the race.
The Goguen family, all 12, will be working the event this December with Atwood Racing Services to make it a top notch event and hopefully the cyclocross version of the successful Longsjo classic road race. Each day’s events begin at 8:30am and will continue throughout the day until approximately 3:30pm. The Goguen’s invite one and all to the event to
introduce you to the great sport of cyclocross, to see some old friends, and to help out with TEAM CFs mission.