CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A now-retired NFL great and Carolina Panthers fan favorite, is getting into a new sport - cycling.
"I used to do triathlons when I was playing, but I wasn't competitive riding, I was just charitable riding,” said former running back DeAngelo Williams. “I've been doing it for a month now and I absolutely love it. It's low impact on your joints”
With his new hobby, comes a new concept: The Inaugural 53 Strong DeAthlon.
“Instead of Run-Bike-Run, it’s a charity event that’s Run-Bike-FUN,” he says with a laugh. “DeAthletes will run/walk a 3.4 mile course, and then choose to do the bike route of their choice: 20-mile "Tiger Trail”, a 34-mile bike ride called “Carolina Cruise”, or a 53-mile ride called “Legacy Length.”
All those numbers are significant. DeAngelo’s jersey numbers were 20 and 34 while in college and the NFL.
The number 53 pays homage to DeAngelo’s mother, Sandra. That was her age when she died from metastatic breast cancer.
Also, 53 women will be getting free mammograms, going on simultaneously as the race is happening.
“If we find breast cancer in any of those women, The DeAngelo Williams Foundation will cover their medical journey from the time it’s spotted to the time they’re cancer-free,” he said. “Not a dime out of their pocket.”
Pink, he added, remains his lifestyle.
“I don’t want my legacy to be all football-related. I used that platform to help other people. The legacy that I want to leave is having this world be better than I found it when I leave."
The DeAthlon is Saturday, August 10 at the Marvin Town Centre in Waxhaw.
To sign up, learn more or donate, go here.
“It’s going to be an amazing event,” he said. “Not only the cheering on and team-sense, but we’re also adding lots of ‘extras’. Bring your families, too. There will a kids area. The event is a creation of my love-hate relationship with running and biking, combined with my passion for a little fun and games.”