Hello Tri 4 followers,

We just wrapped up our first event of the year on May 5th – the first annual Tri 4 Schools Waunakee Kids Triathlon!  There were so many great stories and positive things about this day that it’s impossible to share them all…but the first plus – NO RAIN!  We had a bit of a chilly morning, but at least we avoided the strong, scattered thunderstorms that May 6th endured.

Our race got off to a bit of a late start when our shuttle service arrived late, but we were soon underway with our 11-14 group!  This group included a team of 34 kids from Whitehorse Middle School, coached by one of our board members, Paul Stich, and two other teachers.  Earlier that week, this team was featured on a WISC news broadcast, which you can view here.  It was great to see those young athletes cross the finish line after speaking with many of them earlier in the week (when nerves were running high).  The pictures were great too!

Omar Fernandez – whose father in Mexico was waiting for his call upon finishing the race!

Citrine Samrah – hopes to inspire other Muslims to compete in triathlon!

We had such great support from volunteers and sponsors, as well as families who were supportive of all athletes…my face was a bit sore on the drive home from all the smiling!

The true winners here are the schools that will benefit from the funds we raised.  For those that are unaware, we make $0 off these triathlons.  Every dollar in entry fees goes back to the schools of our participants, which for this race will be $7,315!  Our winning school stands to take home close to $1,000 for their health and fitness programs.  When you learn that the average annual physical education budget for a school in Dane County is between $300-400, that is a huge help.  Even a school with one student participating will be able to purchase a few new playground balls, which may make a difference when kids choose playing soccer over standing around at recess.

I have to thank the Village of Waunakee for their steadfast and incredible support.  This community is unreal – their school district and community center donated their time and resources for free, their police and EMS volunteered for free, and their community organizations sponsored the event and volunteered on race day.  The gym teachers tirelessly promoted the race to their students over several months in order to increase local involvement.  It is rare to find a municipality that truly embodies community stewardship, and I am so blessed to be able to work with this group of people.  They understand the value of bringing an event like this to their community and are enthusiastic in their support of the next generation.

I can’t wait for next year’s Waunakee race…not only for the anticipated success of funds raised and kids reached, but for the ability to work with such a