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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tri to Help Others

Next week will be our first wedding anniversary. This weekend we're looking forward to celebrating and... exercising. Leave it to me to schedule my first triathlon on my anniversary weekend! Even though I'm starting small with a sprint tri, the training has been a challenge- particularly the swimming portion. When I began training three months ago, I couldn't swim one lap- now I can do 1.25 miles! The training process has been rewarding in and off itself, but what makes me feel extra great about the whole event, is that the race will benefit Recreation Deeds for Special Needs, a non-profit Friends and Family organization established to provide camp scholarships, adaptive equipment and training and volunteer support to children with disabilities. 

Children benefitting from Recreation Deeds for Special Needs support. Photo found online.
While many brides are too busy to undertake the challenge of training for a tri while also involved in the stressful wedding planning process, it can be a great way to de-stress and get in shape for the wedding. Even better, many triathlons and races have entry fees that benefit a multitude of causes.

When I was planning my wedding, the thought of participating in a tri and overcoming my open water fear was was too daunting to take on, but I did participate in a few charity runs and walks, which are a great way to shape up for the big day. In my post, Shaping Up and Helping Out I shared some great 5ks, 10ks and even marathons that benefit a score of charities from domestic violence prevention to diabetes to breast cancer.

But, if getting ready for a tri sounds like the perfect plan for getting in shape for the big day.   there are training programs, like Team in Training (TNT), that provide flexible, group training while raising funds for blood cancer research, education and prevention. TNT began in 1988, when Bruce Cleland formed a team that raised funds and trained together for the NYC Marathon in support of Cleland's daughter who had leukemia. To date, Team in Training has raised over $1.3 billion dollars. 

A TNT team on race day. Photo found online.
TNT athletes train and raise money together. The program provides coaches, group training and even virtual and online support. At the end of the training program, the group travels  for the race day. The race events are often selected for their exciting locale- with groups participating in events like the San Diego marathon and the Nation's Tri in Washington DC. Team members can choose between over 2oo events in total!

TNT is a great way to get in great shape and give back. If you're like me and you have already been training on your own, you can understand the benefit of having the support of others during those long rides and runs. If you're already training and looking for a few events that give back, here are a few options.

I'm looking forward to this weekend and to the post-race celebration with my very patient husband. Thank you, Andrew for all the support and for "training" with me! I'm hoping to give Andrew a break for my next endeavor by participating in the TNT program- and maybe next year I'll give us the anniversary weekend off :)

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