One hundred and eleven.
That’s how I start every conversation with people when they ask me how did the third annual Tri-Warriors Youth Triathlon go on Aug. 25. I tell them 111 smiling faces crossed the finish line. I still get excited when I hear that number because I know it means so much more than just a number.
This is our third year for the event, and last year was almost literally washed away by Hurricane Irene and we just weren’t sure how many kids we were going to get. In fact, just 10 days before the event, we only had 61, which is about 20 less than we had the first two years. And thanks to a reputation of hosting a great event, parents talking to parents and social media, we saw that number explode.
That number is also important because for every one of those 111 kids there were two or three and sometimes more members of their family there to cheer them on. And from all of those people I heard nothing but positive comments and pride in the accomplishment of their children. That would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of the Tri-Warriors club.
This small group of men and women work for months to make sure that these 111 kids not only have a great time and experience the sport of triathlon, but also make sure their families feel secure in letting them do it. They also want to encourage young kids to start living a healthier lifestyle by exercising as well as using the proceeds from the event to support those groups in our community that help children grow up healthy and happy. And for the third year, mission accomplished once again.
I also need to thank our sponsors. Without their support, we wouldn’t have the funds to organize this event. These folks trust us to use their money wisely, and proudly display their name as being associated with the triathlon and our club. A task we take very seriously.
This year’s Title Sponsors were: Holiday Inn Express in Pembroke, Lumbee Guaranty Bank, The Town of Pembroke, Time Catcher Photography and UNCP. Our Gold Sponsors: Kiwanis of Robeson-Lumberton, Lumberton Drug, Metcon, Pembroke Pediatric Clinic, Revels Funeral Home and SRMC. Silver Sponsors: 1st Choice Insurance & Realty and Speech Fundamentals, Dial Insurance, Hawley’s Bicycle World & Robeson Road Runners. Bronze Sponsors: City Cleaners, Josh Whitley - State Farm, LPL Financial, Locklear, Jacobs, Hunt & Brooks, McDonald’s of Pembroke, McNeill Jewelers, Pembroke Laser Wash, Robeson Pediatrics, Sammy Cox, Scotland Health Care System, Two Hawks. And donations made by Minuteman of Pembroke, Pembroke Veterinary, Vernon Scott and Wade Carson.
If you get the opportunity to visit or do business with these sponsors, please tell them you appreciate their involvement with the youth triathlon and their concern for the wellness of kids in our county.
Finally, I want to congratulate those 111 kids that came out. I can’t stress this enough, but completing a triathlon is no small task and you should be proud for not only finishing, but having the desire to compete. You young triathletes are inspiring and I hope your passion for this sport continues.
If you want to learn more about the Tri-Warriors Triathlon Club, our youth triathlon or the results from this year’s race, please visit our website at www.triwarriors.net and make sure you like us on Facebook. Until then, next year’s event is tentatively set for Aug. 24 so mark you calendars and plan on coming out.
Mike DeCinti was the race director for the 2012 Tri-Warriors Youth Triathlon and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 910-827-2439.