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Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Sends Six Challenged Athletes To Compete At The Vega IRONMAN World Championship

October 8, 2019

San Diego, CA The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) has teamed up with Vega to power the stories of six amazing challenged athletes with various physical disabilities from five different states and Germany. Vega’s generous donation of $50,000 and integrated marketing campaign will go towards supporting CAF’s mission to provide access to sports at all levels, from a young child needing a running prosthetic to play at recess to these challenged athletes training hard to cross the finish line on Alii Drive at the Vega IRONMAN World Championship.

Beth and Liza James of “Team Liza” will attempt to be the first ever mother-daughter team to compete in Kona. Beth and her three kids were involved in a tragic car accident 15 years ago that left her youngest daughter Liza with a traumatic brain injury. Liza is now 23-years old and while nonverbal and cannot walk on her own, she loves being outdoors and racing with her accomplished triathlete mom, Beth. Their very first triathlon was CAF’s San Diego Triathlon Challenge where Beth witnessed the sheer joy on Liza’s face swimming, biking and running together.

“Team Liza is thankful to CAF and Vega to help us get us to this most important starting line at Kona where we truly hope that everyone who sees us swim, bike and run together is motivated to live life to its fullest.” said Beth James.

The other five challenged athletes racing include CAF spokesperson Roderick Sewell who was selected as an IRONMAN Ambassador to compete in his first ever IRONMAN race. Roderick is a bilateral above-knee amputee as a result of congenital deformities. He was homeless for many of his young years and never considered playing a sport until he was connected with the Challenged Athletes Foundation. He is now a member of the US Paralympic Swim Team, a first generation college graduate, and a mentor and coach for many younger challenged athletes. Elke van Engelen is an accomplished amputee triathlete from Germany, who has her sights set on the Tokyo Paralympics after Kona this year. Rodger Krause from Pennsylvania and Jason Fowler from Massachusetts will look to secure a podium spot in the Wheelchair Division and Lisle Adams from Kentucky who have overcome being crushed between two cars to compete in IRONMAN races.  Team CAF athletes have all been fortunate to use Vega plant based nutrition products during training and be supported through the generosity of the Vega brand.

“We know that nutrition is the key to powering athletic performance and Vega is here to meet athletes where they are, at every step of their training, competition, and recovery journey, with plant-based nutrition” says Kelly Aldinger, Sr. Manager, Community & Partnerships with Vega. “That’s why we are so thrilled to partner with CAF, who is renowned for supporting athletes every step of the way. In partnership, we are powering the incredible stories of CAF athletes on their journeys to crossing the iconic Kona finish line.”

Along with Vega, we appreciate the support of our partners IRONMAN, Ashworth Awards, Wattie Ink and 100% Sunglasses who are helping Team CAF athletes achieve the most through sport.

About the Challenged Athletes Foundation

The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping people with physical challenges lead active, healthy lifestyles. CAF believes that participation in physical activity at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.  Since 1994, more than $112 million has been raised and over 26,000 funding requests from people with physical challenges in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts impact another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give opportunities and support to those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles. Learn more at challengedathletes.org.

About Vega
Born from the belief that you shouldn’t have to choose between nutrition and on-the-go convenience, Vega is a premium brand of plant-based products made with real food ingredients. Whether you need an on-the-go snack, or sports nutrition to fuel you better before, during or after training, there’s a Vega product made for you. Plus, Vega products are gluten-free, certified vegan and Non-GMO Project Verified, so you can feel good about what you’re eating. Vega empowers you with the knowledge and nutrition to be better on your own terms—one small change at a time. Learn more and find recipes at MyVega.com

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Team CAF athletes prior to and during race week upon request
  • Content sharing upon request