The original idea for this super fun strength endurance challenge, inspired by the incredible feats of Sergey Rachinskiy (9x Champion of the World) was just going to be my 35th birthday party, where my kettlebell buddies and I were going to long cycle kettlebells for an hour (or at least try) just to do it! As training proceeded I sat down with my boy John Wild Buckley and we talked about how we could make it something greater. We figured if we flipped it into a charity event, we could lift for something real. We could make a difference for those in need. On October 23rd 2010, at Center Street Gym in El Segundo CA, a group of 20 brave and kind kettle people made that happen. It was the very first One Hour Long Cycle. All of us were lifting for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, we made it a very special day. Nowhere in the world had there ever been that many people lifting weights for an entire hour without rest. It was a group lifting world record. There were 20 of us that day. Each year that number seems to grow exponentially, leading to new records and greater donations.
On March 11, 2011, a magnitude-9 earthquake shook northeastern Japan, unleashing a savage tsunami that devastated the land and took countless lives. Nazo (Ayame Hollings) was trapped in a building in Tokyo with her family when the great earthquake struck. We were terrified. Nazo and family made it out ok, yet were emotionally distraught. It was pretty clear what we needed to lift for. On October 22nd 2011, the 2nd One Hour Long Cycle was for the relief of the Japanese Tsunami. It took place at Innovative Results in Costa Mesa CA. 39 lifters stood in a pool of perspiration, pouring their hearts out. Spectators filled the room till it was bursting at the seams! A beautiful day it was.
The 3rd annual One Hour Long Cycle was held at Excellence Health and Fitness in Seattle WA on October 20th 2012. We raised funds for the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance in the name of Anthony Brewer, son of our good friend and kettlebell lifter Howie Brewer. Anthony was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) and has battled through the challenges of brain tumors and seizures since his birth on March 30th 2006. With unknown obstacles ahead, Anthony has remained strong and seizure free with the help of TSC Alliance. On this day we had people lifting solo and on relay teams in the packed Seattle gym, people lifting in satellite locations in New Jersey, Japan, Singapore, Colorado, and California. All at the same time regardless of the time zone!! The energy was indescribable! We were a group totaling 79 lifters.
The 4th annual One Hour Long Cycle was held at Innovative Results in Costa Mesa, CA on October 19, 2013. We raised funds for the Jimmy V. Foundation in the name of James Chang. On January 12th, 2013, my younger brother Damon lost his best friend to cancer. James and Damon were inseparable. They shared a love of basketball, laughter, and great food. When we lost James it was like losing family. I knew at that moment we would lift for those who have battled cancer or were currently in the fight. That was also the year that I made a promise to James's family that I would attempt to lift 2x24kg kettlebells for one hour as an 'ode to a lost brother. Everyone has been touched and affected by cancer in some way, whether first hand experience, or through a friend or family member. We knew the world would pull together for something special. We had satellite locations all around the world, and special people lifting for their loved ones with all of their hearts. This was really the first year that having a home base location dissipated. From there on out, the 1HLC would just have Earth as its home base! Perfect.
In 2014, the 1HLC joined forces with Kettlebells 4 Autism (KB4A) to raise funds for the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT). There is still so much to be understood about autism, and felt this would be a perfect opportunityto help educate the community on a disorder that affects one in every sixty-eight children. We wanted to make a difference in the lives of these children, and set out on a mission to make a difference. An initial fundraising goal of $20,000 was set (although we hoped for a whole lot more!) Over 750 kettlebell lifters participated from 71 satellite locations around the world. Those beautiful people gave of their time, effort, and energy to raise over $36,000 - almost doubling the goal! This was by far the largest event we have held to date (in both participants and funds raised). It was a testament to all of the amazing people that are part of the worldwide kettlebell family.
In 2015, the 1HLC chose to team up with once again with Kettlebells 4 Autism (KB$A) and its founder Christina Danos. More than 620 lifters participated across 16 countries, raising more than $29,000. This was the first year that we we began supporting multiple organizations. We made this important change from 2014 to ensure lifters all around the world had as many local options as possible in which to donate. Organizations supported in 2015 included the Global Autism Project (USA), the Geneva Centre for Autism (Canada), and the Autism Initiative of the United Kingdom. In addition, we introducedsome amazing prizes for this years event from the following generous donors: Kettlebell Kings, Laboratory of Champions, Kettlebell Athletica, Kettlebell Iron Diva, Extreme Kettlebell, and from World Champion Denis Vasilev. We were beyond grateful for the showers of kindness from such amazing people.
2016 was the year we globally gathered lifted to raise funds and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is an immune-mediated disorder in which the protective covers of the nerve cells through the central nervous system are damaged. This damage can lead to problems with vision, coordination, cognition, sensation and muscle weakness or control. Genetic and environmental factors are presumed to play a role, yet there still has not been a definitive cause. 2.3 Million people worldwide are affected by MS. Our kind friends and kettlebell lifters came together and lifted for the effort to find a cure. We raised $27,500 with participants in 13 countries!!
In 2017 the 1HLC teamed up with Walk with Sally, a charity that provides mentors and services to children impacted by cancer. Walk with Sally steps in and does the best job they can to provide guidance and warmth to children and families during the most challenging of times. We, as kettlebell lifters, came together and raised $30,800 in 9 countries around the world. Every five thousand dollars provides a child with a whole year of friendship with a carefully matched mentor.
2018 was the second year we partnered with Walk with Sally, a charity that provides mentors and services to children impacted by cancer. Kettlebell lifters from around the world came together and raised $15,000 in 7 countries around the world. This wasn’t our biggest event, but it was one of the most impactful 1HLC events we have ever had. Many of the Walk With Sally representatives and their beneficiaries came out to support our event, cheer on our lifters, and in many cases LIFT! It was amazing to see the smiles on the kids faces throughout and an event that won’t soon be forgotten!