BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — The 27th Great American Bike Race kicked off Friday and the gym at the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was packed.

“We are doing the Great American Bike race again. It’s been a long time because of COVID but we are happy to be doing it again,” said Antonio Stridiron, a resident at the facility.

The race is sponsored by Sanford Health, and the money raised at the race will support children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

There was a total of 24 teams with six teammates per team. Riders have to ride a stationary bike for 20 minutes straight and then they get a 10-minute break.

This is the first time since COVID-19 that these guys and gals participated in the race.

“It’s given us a sense of normalcy again and going back to being normal and what you used to do once upon a time. So it gives you that normal feeling,” said Stridiron.

And even though these riders may have made some wrong turns in life, they are happy to still feel a part of the community.

“It’s important for everybody to give back to the community and these guys are no different. It’s letting people know that they are incarcerated.. but they are still people. And they care about what’s going on in the community,” said Travis Collins, the community resource manager.

“I think for us it gives us an opportunity to partake in outside community events. It makes us feel like we are still part of the outside community even though we are in the situation that we are in,” said Stridiron.

And though 20 minutes feels like a long time, these teams pushed each other to the finish line.

The goal was to raise between $6,000 to $10,000 and the event raised more than $10,000 at the last check.