Physically Challenged Athletes, Celebrities and Professional Athletes Participate Side by Side at Annual Triathlon
SAN DIEGO – OCT. 9, 2015 – More than 5,000 supporters, spectators and participants will flock to La Jolla Cove on Oct. 18 for the 22nd Annual Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge, which seeks to raise more than $1 million for the Challenged Athletes Foundation to provide adaptive sports equipment, training and competition expenses to athletes around the world with physical challenges.
The Challenged Athletes Foundation, a world-leader in helping individuals with physical challenges get involved in sports and physical fitness, hosts the annual event which is designed to celebrate inspirational athletic spirit while building camaraderie between physically challenged and able bodied athletes.
The one-day event also includes the 24 Hour Fitness Tour de Cove cycling marathon, Kaiser Permanente Thrive-5K Fitness Walk, Philadelphia Insurance Kids’ Run and Wawanesa Family Fun Zone. More than $1 million will be raised to help physically challenged individuals get the support needed to succeed in sports and in life.
The Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge is dubbed the “best day in tri” for its unique “challenge” distance format, which allows participants – athletes with physical challenges of all ages and abilities, and able-bodied fundraisers – to complete in the events side by side. Shorter than a regular triathlon, the distance of each leg are: 1-mile swim, 44-mile bike, 10-mile run. Robin Williams, a dear friend and longtime supporter of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, was an 11-year participant of the event, beginning in 1998.
“Whether you’re a participant or spectator, everyone in attendance leaves inspired through the celebration of life and ability that is unmatched anywhere in the world,” said Bill Geppert, CEO of the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
Attendees include celebrities and sports legends such as:
• Dick Enberg, San Diego sportscaster
• Jim Garfield, Celebrity trainer
• Meredith Kessler, Professional triathlete and Ironman champion
• Shannon McIntosh, Hollywood producer
• Luke McKenzie, Professional triathlete
• Scott Tinley, Two-time Ironman World Champion; Ironman Hall of Fame inductee; has participated in all 22 SDTC events, most notably on Team Braveheart with Paralympian Rudy Garcia-Tolson and actor Robin Williams
• Bill Walton, Basketball legend
• Kurt Yaeger, Actor from Sons of Anarchy, NCIS and Dolphin Tale the movie; professional adaptive BMXer; and CAF grant recipient
• Shelley Zimmerman, San Diego Chief of Police
The triathlon itself is the culmination of a full weekend of events. To further encourage challenged athletes to be active, the Challenged Athletes Foundation will conduct six sports clinics beginning Friday, Oct. 16, each designed to teach challenged athletes the skills and confidence they need to reach their fitness and athletic goals. These clinics include the Open Water Swim Clinic, Cavignac & Associates Kids Surf Clinic, Wheelchair Obstacle Course, Tandem Cycling Clinic, Pool Swim Clinic, and CAF’s Össur Leg Amputee Running and Mobility Clinic.
Funds raised over the course of the weekend will allow the Challenged Athletes Foundation to provide adaptive sports equipment, travel and training expenses to challenged athletes around the world, and to support the organization’s mentoring programs and schedule of annual, free sports clinics. Through its Access for Athletes Grant Program, this year 1,709 grants were distributed around the world representing a collective value of $3.5 million.
A special grant presentation will be held in honor of long-time Challenged Athletes Foundation supporter Kate Steinle, who tragically passed away this year. Best friends, Mayli and Brooklyn, who were born with Spina Bifida will be receiving their own WCMX chair and handcycle, in memory of the friendship Kate had with CAF founder and Board Chairman Jeffrey Essakow’s daughter, Nicole. The grant presentation will take place Sunday, Oct. 18, during the Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge.
This event is made possible thanks to many supporters and sponsors of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, including Aspen Medical Products, XTERRA, Converse, Nike, Lusardi Construction Company, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Wawanesa Insurance, Össur, Kaiser Permanente, BWCM, Headsweats, Wells Fargo, DJO, VAVI Sport & Social, LAK Advertising, VDP Direct, Alphatec Spine, Union Bank, Giuseppe Restaurants & Catering, Nytro, Bank of America, SKLZ, Ashworth Awards, and Rita’s.
Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge Key Moments & Special Presentations, Oct. 18
-7 a.m. Parade of Athletes, including introduction of legends, celebrities, challenged athletes and recent Paralympians
-7:30 a.m. National Anthem
-8 a.m. Swim Start
-8:20 a.m. Hot Corner with Celebrity and VIP Relay Team Tag-offs
-9 a.m. Start of the 24 Hour Fitness Tour de Cove
-10:00 a.m. Challenged Athletes Kids Run (50 participants between the ages of three and 17)
-11:15 a.m. Kaiser Permanente Thrive-5K Walk
-2:15 p.m. Awards BBQ and Check Presentations at La Jolla Bridge Club
For more information or to registration for the San Diego Triathlon Challenge, visit https://www.challengedathletes.org/SDTC. To follow the challenge on Twitter, go to @CAFoundation or search #BestDayInTri.