If you do know of Justin Hardy, you know exactly why we honor his B Strong Spirit. If you do not yet know of Justin, we’re here to correct that and share with you the emotional story of a truly remarkable young man.
B Strong Ride Founder Kevin Mulshine (cancer survivor and our inspiration) calls Justin, “the most inspirational person I ever met.”
There’s a ton of info out there that tells Justin’s story far better than we can. A few of those:
Our connection to Justin came through Tanner Baird who grew up in Boulder and went on to attend college and play basketball at Washington University in St Louis.
Growing up, Tanner and his parents, Dr Kristin Baird and Mike Baird supported and participated in B Strong. So when Tanner’s teammate, roommate and best friend, Justin Hardy, was diagnosed with cancer, Tanner turned to Kevin Mulshine and George Karl to enlist the support of B Strong.
On February 28, George and Kevin flew to St Louis to support Justin in his cancer journey and spend the day with Justin, Tanner and the Washington University Basketball team. The truth, though, is that Justin’s remarkable strength and spirit had a far greater impact on George and Kevin.
Sadly, three months later, on May 29, Justin passed away with his amazing parents, Bob and Karen, sister Jackie and brother Nathan by his side. A writer at Washington University called Justin “A comet for good”.
For George, Kevin and the entire B Strong Team, Justin epitomizes the B Strong Spirit and reminds all of us how important it is that no one fights alone.
This year, in Justin’s honor, we have dubbed the steepest, most difficult section of the ride, “Justin Hardy Hill”. At Mile 15 on the climb to Ward, as the grade steepens to 13 percent, riders will find a road sign bearing that name, in the hopes that they can channel just a bit of Justin’s incredible grit and determination.
The B Strong team extends its best wishes and sympathy to Justin’s family, teammates and friends.