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Staunton-Augusta YMCA is Y Madness national champion for 2023

Rebecca Barnabi
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The Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA has a 105-week winning streak in a national stationary bicycle riding competition.

The YMCA is also the back-to-back Y Madness national champion.

Similar to the NCAA’s March Madness bracket, the top 16 YMCAs nationally compete for five consecutive weeks in Blue Goji’s Expresso Ride of the Week competition. The competition lasts for 24 hours each Thursday.

Blue Goji CEO and co-founder Coleman Fung and Blue Goji senior director of sales Tom McCarthy visited the Staunton YMCA yesterday to celebrate its 2023 Y Madness National Championship.

“I like to really like to visit clients, and see how they are using the bikes. We want to come here and meet with the team, and learn how this Y puts so much effort into the community-building part. In many ways, the YMCA mission and Blue Goji mission are very aligned. We just use different terminology. We focus on what’s called embodied health,” Fung, who is based out of Austin, said.

Jeff Collins, the YMCA’s business director, serves as the team’s Blue Goji captain.

“It was great to see that they took time out of busy schedules to come down and visit us,” Collins said. “It’s kind of a big deal for us, two years in a row winning ride of the week and two years in a row winning the Y Madness. We have a lot of people who buy into riding the bikes. There’s a lot of community and camaraderie.”

In the 2023 Y Madness championship round, 59 riders rode 2,282 miles in the championship victory. Ten riders completed 100 miles or more. Fourteen riders reached 50 miles, and 26 riders rode 25 miles.

“It’s really to celebrate the community that’s been created here,” McCarthy, who came in from the Boston area, said of his visit. “That’s what we try to achieve, and you guys embody community engagement, coming together and common goals. That’s what we’re about, and you guys are the pinnacle of that.”

In the first 20 hours of the competition, the YMCA’s participants completed a cumulative 100 miles each hour in the championship round.

“It’s just staggering the commitment, the camaraderie and the mental fortitude,” McCarthy said. “It’s what we try to accomplish with all of our partners, and we wish could replicate what you all do and have a magic formula.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.