This past Saturday the Tri to Cure Triathlon took place on the beautiful Furman University campus in Greenville, South Carolina. The goal of the triathlon was to raise money to help fund Team Type 1’s diabetes programs. One of those programs is a trip to Rwanda to help raise awareness of diabetes in that impoverished African country.
Four young athletes went a step further and did individual fundraising. One of those was Eric Calder of the Les Amis Cycling Team. He raised $300 which brought the individual fundraising total to $500. This small amount of money alone will have a huge impact on those affected by diabetes in Rwanda. Just $500 will supply insulin to five Rwandan children for a year. The total raised from the Tri to Cure was $20,000 – all of that going to fund various diabetes programs.
Two-hundred and fifty eager kids between the ages of six and fifteen from six different states participated in the Tri to Cure. The swim portion of the event was in the Furman pool followed by a lap around the lake on the bike, finishing with a run down the university mall. Race distances were determined by the age of the racer.
After the racing was completed a special guest stopped by on his bike – reining U.S. road champion George Hincapie. This was the BMC rider’s first training ride since returning from the Tour de France. With impeccable timing Hincapie arrived just as his autographed national champions jersey was being awarded to a lucky winner.
Race organizer Jennifer Bennet said, “I saw all the kids looking behind me with big eyes. I turned around and George was standing behind me. It was great! He stayed forever and I think he really enjoyed it.”
The national champion signed autographs and posed in pictures with the excited athletes and parents. Without a doubt many young triathletes became inspired that day and who knows how many future champions were created.