Tri For Hope Updated

Friday, June 22, 2012

In June I wrote a blog about the Tri For Hope Triathlon (see below.)  The triathlon is only 3 days away (Aug 11th) and I wanted to give you an update.  As I mentioned in my first blog, we are raising money for the American Cancer Society and I have invited you to share the name of a person in your life who is a cancer survivor or someone you have lost to cancer.  I will put those names on my shirt and wear them on race day. 

Thanks to everyone who has shared their story with me.  This has been a very powerful experience as I have listened to your stories and realize that this is not just a shirt with a bunch of names.  Each name symbolizes a life you cherish and I am very honored to be running on Sat with your friends and relatives.

Today at our weekly Rotary meeting one of our Rotarians told the group about the Tri For Hope and suggested that we pass the hat and raise some money.  Within 10 minutes the hat made it around the room and $255 was raised.  I have to tell you that the Deerfield Valley Rotary Club is a small group with big hearts.  I greatly appreciate their generosity.  They also asked me to add a few names to my shirt, which is as important to me as the donations. 

I have been swimming a little more this year so that is a positive.  I've been able to swim with Denise and Ann on Monday's and these girls can swim.  They swim for about an hour which is like a week to me!  Denise gave me some good pointers on my stroke so I am hoping to follow through and not revert back to my old "sloppy stroke."

I have also been running on Friday's with a small group.  Tom runs with us and is world-class triathlete.   This fall he heads to New Zealand to compete in the World's for the US Team.  Last year, in Beijing, he came in 7th in his age division.  When you run with Tom you would never know how much experience he has under his belt.  He never brags or bolts ahead and he stays with us even though I can tell he is chomping at the bit to open it up.   Every once in a while he throws out a little advice and my ears perk up!  He asked my why I run with my arms up by my sides (kind of like a robot at a 45 degree.)  I wasn't really sure - I guess that is how I have always run.  He showed me a more relaxed arm position where you drop your arms down (think Raggedy Ann but not too floppy) and exert less energy.  It takes a little concentration to drop my old stance but "Raggedy Ann arms" is a more relaxed position.  Thanks Tom!

This Saturday I will be trying my new stroke and abandoning my robot arms and wearing my shirt of magnificent people.  That is my strategy and I am sticking to it!


June blog:

On August 11th Mount Snow will host its 4th Triathlon.  This year we are changing it up a bit.  A while back the marketing guys asked what I thought about partnering with the Vermont Cancer Association and making our triathlon a fundraiser.   Easy answer - great idea!  So this year our beginner/sprint USA sanctioned triathlon will be the Tri for Hope on Aug 11.  Added bonus - the top fundraiser at our tri will receive a 2012-2013 Season Pass to Mount Snow.  Fighting cancer and having no excuse to not ski your tail off are both excellent reasons to start training!

This will be my fourth year participating in the Mount Snow triathlon.  I swim and run and my friend Stevie does the bike leg.  It is the only triathlon I do so I fall into the beginner category.  I was very nervous my first year but found that everyone is very supportive, no matter what your skill level is.  Entering this triathlon gives me the motivation to train and this year I feel more inspired because we have partnered with American Cancer.

Several years ago I lost a very dear college friend to cancer and found myself, like millions, feeling numb and asking why.  And like so many others, I have found comfort in raising awareness and money for cancer research and aid for cancer patients. 

I love it when you can combine a passion like running or biking with a good cause.  A few years ago, one of my Rotary pals, Don, wanted to build gardens in the Deerfield Valley that honored cancer survivors.  He applied for grants and asked everyone for donations and three years later we have three wonderful Gardens of Hope in Whitingham (Historical Society), Wilmington (Health Center) and Dover (Blue Brook Triangle.)  I help with the Dover garden and it has become my therapy.  We asked cancer survivors to make stepping stones for the Dover garden and while I am digging, each stone reminds me of all the strong folks in our valley that battled cancer and won.   

Dover Garden of Hope BEFORE

Dover Garden of Hope AFTER

This year when I compete in the Tri For Hope, I will do it for Nancy.  And for each of the stones in the Garden of Hope (you know who you are!)  As you can see, I wrote Nancy’s name on my triathlon shirt so I can bring her along for support.  If you are a cancer survivor, I would love to put your name on my shirt too.  Or maybe you would like me to add a name in memory.  I would love to hear your story and know that on Aug 11th when I cross that finish line, I am not alone.

T-shirt in June.


Shirt today.  There is still time.  Let me know if you would like to add a loved one to my shirt.

8.15.12 - Thanks to everyone who came out and participated and who donated to this great cause.  Collectively, we raised over $24,000.  Stevie and I finished with smiles and no injuries!  Here's a few pics.

Denise heading out on the run after a blazin' hot bike.


Dave and John - hey, I'll swim and you run.

My teammate Stevie gabbing with all her fans on one of her laps.

Stevie and I before the swim.

Team Alison, Shirley and Lisa were right by our side.
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