No, it’s not your typical hoagie sale; or a BBQ; or a door-to-door candy sale. This fund raiser’s really different. And fun! And adventurous!
It’s a one-day “everybody-can-do-it” Triathlon in Lehigh Gorge State Park near White Haven.
Whitewater Challengers is running the event to help raise money for Branden’s Heart, the local White Haven charity whose mission is to encourage, support, nurture, counsel and assist area children, teens and young adults.
The event’s sponsors insist that just about anybody can have a fun day by participating in the 2014 Triathlon. “You don’t have to be an Olympian, or a die-hard athlete to sign up for this one,” says Mark Metzo, President of the Branden’s Heart charity. “Just come with the spirit of adventure and teamwork, and with a desire to help a really good cause.”
Each team that registers for the race must have 4, 5 or 6 team members. “Only one of those team members will complete the running phase of the race,” explains Ken Powley, President of the event’s primary sponsor, Whitewater Challengers. “Then the entire team will hop in a raft to complete the rafting phase. And then just one team member will complete the biking phase.
“There are no big cash prizes to be won, but there are trophies, medallions, free Triathlon T-shirts, and a keen sense that every team is a winner when it comes to giving Branden’s Heart a better chance of fulfilling its very important mission.
“We’re excited to be in a position to lend out support,” Powley says. “We think Branden’s Heart offers real hope to our area’s youngsters. And we’re happy to do all we can to encourage them, and to broaden the range of positive, healthy opportunities that are available to our kids.”
The 2014 Triathlon in Lehigh Gorge State Park is the first of its kind, and is extremely unique in that it includes a whitewater rafting segment. “You don’t see that in most Triathlons,” explains Powley. “But we want this to be a fun day out for everybody, and with such a beautiful rafting opportunity right in our back yard, we just couldn’t resist including it.”
The event is scheduled for Sunday, May 18. Participants will be meeting at the Whitewater Challengers Rafting Center near Buck Mountain at 11:00 am for a pre-event orientation. For any teams who want to get a practice-run on the whitewater course on Saturday, they can reserve a guided tour down the river at deeply discounted ($25 pp) rate.
All the triathlon details and team registrations forms are available by calling 570-443-9532, or by visiting the Triathlon web site at www.whitewaterchallengers.com/thriathlon.
More information about Branden’s Heart is available at www. branden’sheart.branden’sheart.org.