More than 5,000 supporters, spectators and participants were in attendance on Oct. 19 for the Annual Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge hosted by the Challenged Athletes Foundation, an event that raised $1.18 million for athletes with physical challenges.
Source: O&P Business News, Burton M.
“This event has become known as the ‘The Best Day in Triathlon’ for a reason,’” Virginia Tinley, Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) executive director, stated in a press release. “It is truly a one-of-a-kind event that displays the power of the human spirit – proving there is nothing one can’t accomplish, no matter what your challenge. We can’t say enough to thank our supporters, sponsors and fundraisers who have made it such a success.”
The event featured nearly 300 athletes with physical challenges from around the United States. Of those athletes, 200 challenged athletes participated side-by-side with more than 500 able-bodied athletes in the 1-mile swim, 44-mile bike and 10-mile run “challenge distance” triathlon, which raised $1.18 million in support of CAF’s unique mission.
The festivities also included the 24 Hour Fitness Tour de Cove cycling marathon where more than 180 participants cycled for 4.5 hours and raised $77,000; the Kaiser Permanente Thrive-5K Fitness Walk; and, the Philadelphia Insurance Kids’ Run for children with physical challenges. The funds raised through these events will help CAF to continue providing grants for adaptive sports equipment, training, competition expenses and mentoring so athletes with physical challenges can live active lifestyles and gain confidence through sports.
The Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge, which started 21 years ago as a small fundraiser to help a local injured amputee triathlete who became a quadriplegic in a tragic second accident, has helped CAF raise more than $55 million to date. From injured veterans to children born with physical differences, each year San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC) welcomes athletes of all ages and abilities. This year, CAF began the day with a special tribute to the foundation’s long-time supporter and participant, Robin Williams. Williams participated in SDTC 11 times doing the bike portion on a relay team with double amputee Rudy Garcia-Tolson and two-time Ironman World Champion Scott Tinley. The day also featured three surprise grant presentations, where athletes like 3-year-old Abel Rose, was granted a custom sports chair to allow him to excel in wheelchair BMX.
This event is made possible because of CAF’s many supporters and sponsors, including Aspen Medical Products, Xterra Wetsuits, Converse, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Nike, Lusardi Construction, Kaiser Permanente, Union Bank, Vavi, DJO Global, Inc., LAK Advertising, VDP Direct, Alphatec Spine, Headsweats, Össur, Wells Fargo, Built With Chocolate Milk, United Heathcare, SPY, Lifeproof, Nytro, MuscleAid Tape, Clif Bar, Lock Laces, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Swiftwick, Callaway Golf, Hanger, Oakley, TYR, Specialized, Paul Mitchell, GU Energy, Modern Postcard, La Valencia Hotel, Kinsesys, Sock Guy, La Jolla Shores Hotel, Independent, Riviera Paddlesurf, Sierra Nevada, LAZ Parking, ZICO Pure Coconut Water, Hughes Marino, La Jolla Cove Suites.
For more information, visit @CAFoundation and search #BestDayInTri on Facebook and Twitter.