Under an overcast and threatening sky on October 3, 258 Iron Kids of 2009 massed for the 4th Annual Mamaroneck Schools Foundation Junior Triathlon, armed with bathing suits, bicycles and sneakers – the necessary equipment for the 3-stage physical challenge.
At 7:30 am, the Junior Triathlon began with a splash as the 7 and 8-year olds dove (or jumped) into the Hommocks Pool. After each age group finished their laps, they hopped on their bikes, pedaling through Flint Park and Larchmont Manor. They finished the final leg on foot, racing along Hommocks Road and ending in the Winners Circle.
As the runners crossed the balloon-arched Finish Line huffing and puffing, with hair dripping wet, and bodies soaked in sweat, each one received an Olympic-style medal – plus the satisfaction of completing the rigorous course.
While most admitted to being exhausted, others expressed relief – and pride – in surviving the trial.
Many were also already thinking ahead, echoing Sasha Reist’s Finish Line exclamation: “I cannot wait for the Junior Triathlon next year!”
“I was really tired when I woke up this morning and thought I wouldn’t do good,” said Jenny Reich Litzky 10. “But I’m proud that I finished, and did better than I thought.”
“This was my first Triathlon, and I was really excited at the beginning,” reported Neil Willoch, 10. “Now I’m still excited but relieved that I finished it!”
“Last year, my brother and I were so disappointed because we registered too late and there was no room for us,” said Sam Sarkozi, 10. He and his brother William, 8, got in this year. “We were so happy.”
“Actually, it was my step-mom who got me to register,” admitted William Tuck, 10. “I was really nervous at first, but now I feel so proud that I finished.”
“This is my third triathlon. I like it because it’s a lot of fun. It’s very challenging, too, and when you finish you get a feeling of accomplishment,” said Paulina Paras, 12.
While Mother Nature did her part to keep the rain away and get everyone moving, a post-event computer glitch brought things to a halt. Winning times could not be tabulated for several hours, so Maureen LeBlanc, one of the co-chairs, hand-delivered trophies to the winners in each category:
1. Flore LeBlanc (16:02)
2. Brigid Knowles (18:01)
3. Charlotte Golden (18:50)
1 Nolan Forsman (16:09)
2. Owen Cody (16:27)
3. Carter Ogden (16:30)
Thea Bruggemann (26:13)
Daphne Peniston (27:48)
Olivia Jensen (28:19)
Connor LeBlanc (23:44)
James Torre (23:53)
William Powers (24:15)
Leonie Rauls (27:11)
Shari Rauls (27:51)
Paulina Paras (28:34)
Tyler Sakakeeny (25:15)
Reed Malas (26:29)
Jack Stephenson (26:35)
Hannah Fitzgerald (33:21)
Isabelle Despins (36:14)
Caroline Jensen (37:46)
Liam Hanley (35:34)
Elisha Haber (40:50)
A Big Winner
Placing a remarkable third (out of 54) in the 9-10 year old age group, was William Powers. Last June, he was hit by a car and remained in a coma for over a week. When he finally woke up, he needed several months of rigorous physical rehabilitation. Winning a trophy in the Junior Triathlon was an especially huge personal triumph for him.
Pledges: A New Feature
A special feature this year was that participants could collect pledges from family, friends, neighbors and others. This raised more than $6,000.
Those who collected at least $50 in pledges were entered in a raffle for iPods. Henry Eaton won an iPod Nano; Leon Willoch won an iPod Shuffle: and William Powers collected the most pledges.
The Indispensable Powers Behind the Event
Lauren Wertheim, Mamaroneck Schools Foundation VP, offered ‘huge thanks’ to the Triathlon’s major donors, Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management, and Barclays Capital for their very generous contributions. Additional thanks went to: LeBlanc Orthodontics, Powers Fasteners, Simply Fit, the John Somers Agency at State Farm, Pepsi, Trader Joe’s, Stop and Shop, Community Farmers’ Market, the Orchards at Concklin and Alex and David’s Bicycle Repair Service. Special thanks went to the Town of Mamaroneck and the Villages of Larchmont and Mamaroneck and to the Hommocks custodial staff and the Hommocks swim team coaches, Cathleen Ferguson and Aaron Montgomery.
Ms. Wertheim also acknowledged “the incredible people power of more than 160 volunteers” and the unflagging efforts of Maureen Knowles and Maureen LeBlanc, who have spearheaded the organization of the Junior Triathlon for the past two years.
Tracy Owen also contributed to the writing of this article. Mamaroneck Schools Foundation is a non-profit volunteer community organization that provides public schools in the Larchmont/Mamaroneck district with supplemental funds for innovative programs, materials, equipment, and enhanced facilities not provided for in the regular school budget. For more information, call 914-698-9079 or visit www.mamaroneckschoolsfoundation.org.