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Across Maryland on Bike and Foot

Deep Creek to Annapolis to Ocean City for kids with cancer

The athletes of MD Trek 5 in Western ­Maryland

329 miles, 7 days, 100 kids.  

Those are the numbers meteorologist Justin Berk and his Maryland Trek 5 team count as they pedal and hike from the summit of Wisp Ski Resort to Ocean City.  

Getting to the finish on Saturday, August 11 isn’t the only goal.  

Berk’s nonprofit, Just In Power Kids, provides free therapies, supportive care and workshops for local children in post-cancer treatment. The nonprofit is close to Berk’s heart as he endured long hospital stays and painful leg surgery as a boy. This is the fifth annual trek, and this year, the team has a goal of raising $50,000 to help treat 100 kids.  

Two days into the trek, they had reached $45,000 in donations. 

Berk chose the ski resort and beach town as the start and finish because they’re two of Maryland’s largest playgrounds for kids and adults. Their journey, however, is anything but play. Each day begins with a 27-mile hike averaging four miles per hour. Next comes a 14-mile bike ride, the number chosen for the age Berk was when hospitalized as a kid.  

On Thursday August 9, the MD Trek 5 reached Annapolis, where Berk and his team hosted a two-mile Kids Trek starting at the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail Park Offices and ending at Severna Park Elementary school. Chick-Fil-A served lunch.  

Adding a little more love to this already worthy excursion, Berk and his fiancée Shannon — who met on a past trek — marry on the beaches of Ocean City the day after this year’s journey is complete.  

Make your donation at www.justinweather.com/trek/.