Michael Mandich, son of former Dolphins player and radio personality Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich, had two good reasons to take on his new role this year as CEO of the Dolphins Cycling Challenge. The two-day, 170-mile charity cycling event will benefit the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the place where both his grandmother and his father received care as they battled against cancer.
Mandich was a founding member of the DCC’s board and says his the decision was a no-brainer. “I was compelled because I saw not just [my father], but others who were suffering a lot from this affliction. In my gut I felt this was the right choice and I could do a lot of good.”
The event, now in its third year, will see brawny former football players balancing on 20-pound road bikes over a tri-county course neck-and-neck with corporate teams, fitness fanatics, former Sylvester patients and hospital staff and administrators. Former Dolphins Zach Thomas, Mark Duper, OJ Mcduffie, Nat Moore, Jeff Cross, Don Offerdahl will mount up along with former Marlins player Lenny Harris. Former Dolphin Joe Rose, who wussed out on last year’s 30-mile ride, will return to see if he can pass the finish line as well.
Last year’s event gathered 800 riders and raised more than $1 million. This year’s goal is to raise $2 million, 100 percent of all riders’ donations going directly to the Sylvester Center.
There are several ways to participate, depending on each rider’s level of fitness and availability. The hardcore can do the two-day ride, which kicks off Nov. 3 with a 100-mile course, followed by a 70-mile ride the next day. Those that want to participate only on Saturday can complete the 100-mile ride or a 30-mile course starting at either Sun Life Stadium, CityPlace or Huizenga Plaza.
All adult riders will receive two complimentary tickets to the Miami Dolphins game versus the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 25. Riders who attend the game will be honored in a special on-field pre-game ceremony celebrating their fundraising efforts.