RACE AGAINST THE SUN

Jeff Thompson, "The Wolfman"

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Nick Thompson, Jeff Thompson, Ben Thompson, and Mike MacDougall prepare for the Michigan Race Against the Sun. The Thompson family and supporters raised funds for Area 9 Special Olympics in dedication to Jeff Thompson.

Jeff Thompson throws out scrap materials at Nick Thompson's house Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Bangor Township, MI. Nick Thompson is Jeff’s younger brother. After purchasing a home, Nick started the process of remodeling his home with help from his family, including Jeff. Jeff Thompson has close relationships with his brother's, Nick Thompson and Ben Thompson.

Jeff Thompson carries tools throughout his brother's, Nick Thompson, house Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Bangor Township, MI.

Ben Thompson and his older brother, Jeff Thompson, roll carpet in Nick Thompson's house Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Bangor Township, MI. Ben had a passion for finding ways to encourage participation and fitness among people with special needs. The idea of a coast-to-coast bike ride dawned on him one summer day. The event isn't a competition as much as it is an adventure - as well as a fundraiser for Area 9 Special Olympics.

Jeff Thompson dodges Nick Thompson as he carries a roll of carpet Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Bangor Township, MI. Friends and fellow Special Olympics supporters -- none of them hardcore cyclists -- and completed the first Race Against the Sun last year. With Jeff Thompson biking the honorary first mile, the crew set off on its East to West trek.

Jeff Thompson gives his younger brother Nick Thompson a hug while sharing a laugh Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Bangor Township, MI.

Jeff Thompson holds his hands to his ears to the sounds of hammering Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Bangor Township, MI. Nicknamed "The Wolfman" because of his devotion to the Bay City Central Wolves, he has spent the past 15 years as a coach in the football program, announces the starting lineup at the hockey games, is a member of the booster club and a fixture at basketball games and wrestling matches.

Jeff Thompson helps babysit his two-year-old nephew, Caiden Thompson, with his mother Sue Thompson Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at his Bay City, MI home.

Jeff Thompson holds his nephew Caiden Thompson, 2, Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at his Bay City, MI home.

Jeff Thompson bowls during Special Olympics practice Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at Alert Lanes, 915 N. Pine Road in Essexville, MI. Jeff's popularity comes from his personality, but also because he's an active soul. He's pretty much done it all in Special Olympics, competing in swimming, basketball, powerlifting, gymnastics, flag football and bowling. He's been a star at the Special Olympics state games for nearly 25 years, finishing fourth in bowling this season.

After making a strike, Jeff Thompson celebrates during Special Olympics practice Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at Alert Lanes, 915 N. Pine Road in Essexville, MI. "I love everything about Special Olympics, it's very close to my heart," said Jeff. "It gives me a chance to get together with old friends and make new friends. That's the best part."

Jeff Thompson prepares to bowl during Special Olympics practice Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at Alert Lanes, 915 N. Pine Road in Essexville, MI.

An engraved bowling ball, "Wolf Man" for Jeff Thompson, as he is an avid bowler for the Special Olympics. Many know Thompson as "The Wolfman" for being a dedicated Bay City Central Wolves fan.

The second annual race took place on June 20, 2015 with bikers pedaling the 160 miles from Oscoda to Sleeping Bear Dunes, watching the sunrise over Lake Huron and the sunset over Lake Michigan on the same day.

© Amanda Ray all rights reserved.

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@AmandaRayPhoto

 

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