As part of the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) celebrating its 25th anniversary, the 2018 Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge weekend will feature a series of events from October 19, 2018 to October 21, 2018 in La Jolla, California.
The weekend culminates with Sunday’s title event which features a 1-mile ocean swim, 44-mile bike ride, and 10-mile run.
“This day brings out the best of competitive sports,” said CAF Executive Director Virginia Tinley. “We refer to it as the Best Day in Tri.”
Positioned as being more than a triathlon, the racing is an opportunity for people of all ages, levels, and abilities to come together as a community in one of the most scenic settings in the world. Attending for the first time are PBS science correspondent Miles O’Brien and former NFL running back Isaiah Pead.
Miles O’Brien is an above-elbow arm amputee who, after completing IRONMAN 70.3 with CAF, will participate in the entire triathlon challenge. Isaiah Pead is former NFL football player and an above-knee leg amputee training to be a Paralympic sprinter, also participating in the entirety of the event.
Returning athletes include Rudy Garcia-Tolson, Roderick Sewell, Scout Bassett, Sarah Reinertsen, Willie Stewart, Dr Bryon Solberg, Beth Sanden and many others. Those who are unable to experience the triathlon in person are invited to join as a virtual race participant or tune in to the live stream broadcast at CAFLive.com.
To kick off the weekend on Friday, October 19, CAF will welcome home 190 cyclists from the Million Dollar Challenge who will have completed a 7-day ride from San Francisco to San Diego to raise over a million dollars in support of CAF’s mission. That morning, CAF will also host the Junior Seau Foundation Adaptive Surf Program Kids Clinic, presented by Cavignac and Associates. At the surf clinic, kids of all ages and abilities learn adaptive surfing skills from specialized coaches. This also features the XTERRA Wetsuits Ocean Water Swim Clinic down at La Jolla Shores.
On Friday evening, CAF hosts its annual Celebration of Abilities Awards Dinner at Qualcomm Theater to recognize partners and challenged athletes from around the United States for ‘trailblazing and inspirational achievements in the prior year’.
Össur will receive the Partner of the Year Award in recognition of the role it plays in impacting challenged athletes. Through a 20+ year partnership, CAF has given numerous athletes the gift of running and sport by granting Össur’s high-tech sports prosthetics. Össur also joins CAF in hosting seven running and mobility clinics per year, reaching an average of 250 athletes annually.
Brenna Huckaby will be awarded with the Exceptional Athletic Performance Award for her achievements at the 2018 Winter Paralympics.
Sarah Reinertsen, CAF Spokesperson and Team Össur athlete, will be awarded with Most Inspirational Athlete Award for her completion of 7 half marathons on 7 continents in 7 days and her upcoming participation in the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona on October 13th.
On Saturday, October 20, there will be a series of adaptive sports clinics that provide coaching and mentoring. The sports clinics include Össur Running and Mobility, Wheelchair Tennis, Adaptive Swimming, and Wheelchair Skateboarding (WCMX).
After check-in, Sunday, October 21 starts with the Parade of Athletes, where challenged athletes, legends and celebrities walk in preparation for the challenge-distance triathlon. 200 athletes with physical challenges and 600 able-bodied athletes will participate in the Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC) with the option to compete as an individual or as part of a three-person swim/bike/run relay team.
Over 5,000 spectators and volunteers are expected to be in attendance, not counting those watching from around the world in Live Stream.
“SDTC is my favourite event year after year because it’s an amazing day for all athletes and supporters,” said triathlete and long-time CAF supporter, Tina Weidenkeller. “It’s a true testament of the human spirit, and by participating and fundraising, I feel like I am helping to make a difference!”
Other Sunday highlights include the YMCA of San Diego County Tour de Cove Stationary Cycling Marathon, Philadelphia Insurance Kid’s Run, Kaiser Permanente THRIVE Yoga by the Sea, 5-Mile Run, and 5K Fitness Walk.
The Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge weekend ‘celebrates the power of sport to transform lives, build community and change perception of what people with permanent physical disabilities can accomplish.’ Funds raised from these events directly support CAF’s mission to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CAF believes involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.
Registration for these events is open. Sponsors of the weekend’s events include: Aspen Medical Products, Össur, Nike, Converse, YMCA of San Diego County, XTERRA Wetsuits, Ashworth Awards, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Lusardi Construction, LAZ Parking, Kaiser Permanente, Accenture, Sycuan Casino, Toyota, Union Bank, Headsweats, Wells Fargo Advisors, Zappos Adaptive, Smoothie King, Triathlete, Nytro, Michelob Ultra, Marea Coffee, and Rudy Project.