Title sponsor Johnson & Johnson raises more than $187,000 for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Philadelphia Insurance Companies’ CEO Bob O’Leary races in relay with Challenged Athlete’s Foundation
Philadelphia, PA – June 24, 2013 – More than 3,000 participants swam, biked, and rocked around Fairmount Park this weekend at the TriRock Philadelphia Triathlon, with title sponsor Johnson & Johnson and presenting sponsor Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY). Formerly known as the Philly Tri, the event was rebranded for the first time as part of the nationwide TriRock Triathlon Series and managed by San Diego-based Competitor Group featuring a Sprint distance race on Saturday and an Olympic distance on Sunday headlined by some of the biggest names in professional triathlon.
However, it was Cameron Dye who emerged victorious as a reigning champion of the men’s pro division, completing the Olympic course in 1:49:02, while Angela Naeth placed first in the women’s race in 2:01:41. Andy Potts (1:49:37) and Jenna Shoemaker (2:02:22) both earned second-place finishes, with Matt Reed (1:52:53) and Sara McLarty (2:04:22) rounding out the podium. The pros were competing for a prize purse totaling $25,000 in the PHLY Cup pro division, which was launched in partnership with Philadelphia Insurance Companies.
“My race plan is no secret,” said Dye. “I came out of the swim around Andy and tried to hammer the bike and do as much damage on the first lap as I can since Andy has been going longer, he might not have the explosive speed but you know he’s going to hold it together.”
The race introduced a new swim buoy system this year, which marked every 100 meter of the swim course for both the Sprint and Olympic distances. Originally designed for The Nation’s Triathlon in Washington D.C., the elaborate system includes 9,000 lbs of tension at the bottom of the river to keep the buoys in place and on course.
“This was one of the most fun races I’ve done,” said Naeth, who on the run first gapped Parker then caught McLarty. “I thought the new distance marked buoys very helpful. It’s a huge advantage for everyone—from beginners to pros.”
The pros weren’t the only ones in the transition zone, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky also raced on both days, participating Sprint relay with his son on Saturday. More than 170 Johnson & Johnson employees took part in the races over the weekend, raising more than $187,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Over $400,000 has been raised at the triathlon since its inception for pediatric cancer research at CHOP. Funds raised at last year’s race directly supported treatment advances of T Cell Therapy, which represents a new breakthrough approach within cancer treatment.
Philadelphia Insurance Companies’ Team PHLY has raised more than $230,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) since 2008, and PHLY CEO Bob O’Leary even raced in Saturday’s Sprint relay with two CAF athletes, “One Arm” Willie Stewart, who completed the swim and Denise Castelli, a below the knee amputee who biked in the relay. Several other CAF athletes also participated over event weekend and raised funds to support CAF’s mission in providing grants for adaptive sporting equipment, such as prosthetics and racing wheelchairs, advanced training, and competition expenses, which allow challenged athletes to succeed in sports and in life.
The 9th annual event featured three days of activities including a Multi-Sport Expo beginning on Friday, June 21 and a Sprint distance on Saturday, June 22, culminating with an Olympic distance event on Sunday, June 23. Fairmount Park hosted the scenic and challenging race with a fun, family-friendly atmosphere, and a finish line concert on both days of the event.
For more information about the TriRock Triathlon Series presented by REI visit TriRockSeries.com.
About TriRock Philadelphia Triathlon
Originally established in 1995, TriRock Philadelphia Triathlon, with title sponsor Johnson & Johnson and presenting sponsor Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY) is recognized as one of the premier triathlon festival weekends in the country. Taking place June 22-23, 2013 in Fairmount Park, the 9th annual event features three days of activities including a MultiSport Expo and Sprint Distance Race. Event weekend culminates with the showcase Olympic Distance Race featuring some of the best pro triathletes in the country. All participants are treated to a finisher’s medal, technical t-shirt, red carpet finish, post-race breakfast, beer garden and finish line concert. The race supports several non-profit organizations including the , Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF).
The PHLY Cup pro division awards the top men’s and women’s Olympic finishers a prize purse totaling $25,000. Children can also participate in the event with the new TriRock Philly Kids Fun Run, which takes place after the Sprint race on Saturday, June 22. Owned and operated by Competitor Group, TriRock Philadelphia is part of the world-class TriRock Triathlon Series presented by REI, which has races in eight cities across North America. For more information, please visit TriRockSeries.com or follow @TriRockSeries on Twitter.