October 21, 2012 marked the “best day in triathlon” as over 750 participants (200 of which were physically challenged athletes) gathered at La Jolla Cove for the 19th annual Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC). Athletes completed a 1 mile swim, 44 mile bike, and 10 mile run as individuals or as part of a relay team.
Among those participating were pro athletes like Jordan Rapp, Chris “MACCA” McCormack, Sarah Piampiano and Jamie Whitmore, legends like Bill Walton and Scott Tinley, celebrities like stars of ABC’s The Bachelor, and dozens of Paralympians home from London. This year’s event raised over $1.2 million for Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) to help physically challenged athletes be able to participate in the sports they love.
The weekend got started on October 18, with plenty of opportunities for challenged athlete kids to participate in forums, clinics, a family picnic, and more fun activities. Thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers, kids were able to play, explore their abilities, and learn from experienced athletes.
The San Diego Triathlon Challenge rounded out the weekend on Sunday, October 21. The best day in triathlon kicked off with the parade of athletes and without hesitation the 19th annual SDTC was underway! The 24 Hour Fitness Tour de Cove and Kaiser Permanent Thrive 5k all later commenced creating a trifecta of inspiration, fun, and fitness down at La Jolla Cove.
“You never know true inspiration until you’re inspired by people who rise above their abilities, and CAF and its competitors started the spark.” – Stephen Groce of Sport Chalet
Check out all the photos from the day’s race here. And for more details and footage of the day’s event, click here. Headsweats is so happy to have been a sponsor of CAF and part of the Triathlon Challenge – it was a day of inspiration and motivation for all.
We’d like to also share the story behind Haven Shepherd – who’s featured in the photo above: Haven Shepherd is a bubbly energetic 9-year old who loves to run and play with her friends and six brothers and sisters. Her parents have even appropriately nick-named her “Tigger” after the playful tiger that won’t stop bouncing around. Born in Vietnam out of wedlock, her parents were so ashamed that they committed a family suicide resulting in the parents’ death and the loss of both of Haven’s legs as a baby. She was adopted by the Shepherd family from Missouri and immediately fit into a family of athletes. Last year, CAF granted Haven her first pair of running legs and she has already competed in a school track meet. She is shown here running for the second year in a row at the San Diego Triathlon Challenge Kids Run. Haven was awarded our Catch a Rising Star honor this year and we believe there is no stopping her now.