IRONMAN Foundation to Support Local Initiatives and Volcano Relief Efforts on the Island of Hawai`i
October 4, 2018
TAMPA, Fla. (October 4, 2018) – In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the IRONMAN® World Championship, the IRONMAN Foundation will distribute more than $170,000 in charitable giveback to nonprofit initiatives and groups in the Kailua-Kona community, in conjunction with the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon. This year’s grant funding brings the total giveback awarded in the region to over $1.7 million to Kailua-Kona nonprofit organizations.
The IRONMAN Foundation in partnership with the Liliʻuokalani Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to serving orphans and destitute children throughout the Hawaiian Islands will continue its mission of creating tangible impact in race communities with a special service project. On Monday, October 8, IRONMAN athletes, ambassadors, partners and staff will spend the morning restoring coastal landscape of anchialine pools to benefit the ahupuaʻa of Keahuolū in North Kona, an area of land that spans 3,400 acres and serves as a location for Native Hawaiian children to experience ‘ohana-oriented camping. In addition, the Liliʻuokalani Trust will receive a $2,500 grant to sponsor ongoing programs to benefit local youth.
The IRONMAN Foundation will also present a special grant for $1,406 to PATH Hawai`i at the 32nd Annual PATH 5K and 10K run taking place on Sunday, October 7. PATH works with Hawai`i state and county, local leaders, and community members to safely connect people and places on Hawaiian islands with bikeways, sidewalks and pathways.
“We are truly honored to partner with these organizations to provide funding or support for their initiatives,” said Sarah Hartmann, acting Executive Director for the IRONMAN Foundation. “Together we’re leaving a positive and lasting impact here on the Island of Hawai`i.”
Additionally, the IRONMAN Foundation raised over $70,000 through the Humanitarian Relief Effort campaign in response to the multiple natural disasters that significantly impacted the Island of Hawai`i earlier this year – the largest earthquake to hit the region in over four decades, as well as the Kilauea Volcano eruptions and lava flows, which reached over 100 acres of land, destroying homes and displacing over a thousand residents. Funds will support the ongoing relief efforts of organizations in the Puna region. More information on these relief efforts, including how to donate, can be found by visiting www.ironmanfoundation.org/hawaiirelief.
Bike for a Kid in Partnership with FLO Cycling
In partnership with FLO Cycling, the IRONMAN Foundation will host a “Bike for a Kid” pop-up service project in the IRONMAN Village on Tuesday, October 9 through Friday, October 12. IRONMAN World Championship athletes, along with their families and friends, are invited to visit the IRONMAN Foundation booth to assemble bikes for local kids in need. A total of 100 bikes will be built and distributed to children within the region through a partnership with Kids Matter, an organization that assists victims of child abuse and neglect and promotes confidence building among at-risk youth.
To further help children become involved in sport and live a healthy and active lifestyle, IRONMAN Global Bike Partner, Ventum, as well as FLO Cycling and the IRONMAN Foundation have committed to raising at least $10,000 during race week. These funds will provide an additional 200 bikes to children in need through the Bike for a Kid program. To donate or learn more information, please visit www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/bald-for-bikes.
IRONMAN Foundation Athlete Team
Forty athletes from around the world will race in support of IRONMAN Foundation programs, including the IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund and Women For Tri®. Together they have raised a record-breaking $1.1 million dollars. Athletes include:
- Noah and Lucas Aldrich: The Aldrich Brothers and their parents are special guests of IRONMAN and the IRONMAN Foundation in Kailua-Kona. Noah (12) and brother Lucas (10), together as a team will race in the IRONKIDS® Keiki Dip ‘n’ Dash. Lucas, who suffers from a rare neurological condition called Lissencephaly, has Noah pull him in a raft during the swim, push him in a specially-designed wheelchair while on the run portion. On Saturday, they will witness their mentors, the Pease Brothers, prove that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE®.
- Marcus Cook: Marcus lost 256 lbs. by adopting a healthy lifestyle. He competed in his first IRONMAN in 2017 at the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN North American Championship Texas and has raised over $100,000 to support the IRONMAN Foundation.
- Isabella de la Houssaye: Isabella is a mother of five and multi-time IRONMAN finisher diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. She has run 49 marathons in 49 states. Hawai`i will be her 50th state. She is supported by IRONMAN Global Bike Partner Ventum.
- Brent and Kyle Pease: The Pease Brothers established the Kyle Pease Foundation to enable athletes with disabilities to share the joy of endurance racing. Brent competes with brother Kyle, who has cerebral palsy, pulling him in the swim, riding with him on the bike and pushing him in a specially-designed wheelchair in the run. The brothers have crossed numerous marathon and triathlon finish lines.
- Danny Ramos: Danny is an IRONMAN athlete from Puerto Rico who flew medical supplies to the most remote parts of the island following Hurricane Maria. He is supported by IRONMAN nutrition partner CLIF Bar and will participate in the IRONMAN Foundation’s Hurricane Maria continued relief initiatives in Puerto Rico.
- Triny Willerton: Transformed her body through triathlon, dropping 50-lbs after giving birth to her third child. In May 2018 she was struck by a vehicle while cycling and suffered severe injuries. She was selected as the 2018 Women For Tri Inspirational Woman due to her spirit and remarkable comeback.
The IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund provides community and volunteerism grant opportunities to nonprofit organizations where IRONMAN events are held. In 2018, The IRONMAN Foundation will distribute more than $1.7 million in grant funding to support the needs of IRONMAN and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® race communities across North America.
About The IRONMAN Foundation
The IRONMAN Foundation® creates positive, tangible change in IRONMAN race communities by engaging athletes and volunteers to participate in programs that demonstrate service through sport and commitment to community. Since 2003, over $50,000,000 has been provided through IRONMAN charitable giveback programs including the IRONMAN Foundation to more than 7,800 local, regional, national and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN athletes are powerfully linked to the community and together we leave the IRONMAN legacy behind in our race communities long after event day. For more information on IRONMAN Foundation programs, including Team IMF, Community Fund, Your Journey Your Cause, and Women For Tri, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org.
About Women For Tri
Women For Tri®, a program of The IRONMAN Foundation launched by IRONMAN in 2015, works to increase female participation at all levels of triathlon. The program seeks to identify and diminish primary barriers to entry and mobilize triathlon advocates to encourage and engage female athletes across all race distances and representing all athletic abilities. Since inception, over $248,000 in grants have been awarded to triathlon clubs supporting female participation initiatives. Women For Tri embodies the heart and soul of what makes the sport so rewarding: testing your ability, overcoming challenges, and realizing the full depth of your potential in the most widely recognized test of endurance – triathlon. Learn more at www.womenfortri.com and join the Women For Tri online community of 50,000+ female triathletes at www.facebook.com/groups/WomenForTri.
IRONMAN World Championship
Since its inception in 1978 on the island of Oahu, the IRONMAN World Championship has etched its name in history through stellar performances, inspirational participants and emotional memories. In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikiki to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Island of Hawai`i where it continues to take place to this day. The race now sees approximately 2,500 athletes embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN World Champion. The most iconic one-day sporting event in the world is the culmination of 40 global IRONMAN events with athletes around the world striving for one of the coveted qualifying slots.
As part of Wanda Sports Holdings, the IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon® Series, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, premier marathons including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, trail running like Ultra-Trail Australia™, and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 230 events across 53 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About Wanda Sports Holdings
Wanda Sports Holdings is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.