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The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) will auction a prized slot to the Ford Ironman World Championship, organized and conducted by the World Triathlon Corporation, at a gala dinner in New York City on June 10. The winning bidder (or his/her designee) may compete in either 2009 or 2010. Proceeds from the auction will help fund specialized equipment, training and coaching for physically challenged athletes so they can participate in the sports that many able-bodied individuals take for granted.


Interested parties can bid on the coveted slot in one of two ways: In person, by buying a ticket for A Celebration of Heroes, Heart and Hope (tickets are $500; discounts available for NY-area triathlon club members; go to to learn more) or by downloading and completing a proxy bid form at and faxing it to 858.866.0958. Proxy bid forms will be accepted through Noon (PST) on Tuesday, June 9. The minimum opening bid for proxy bidders is $20,000 and during the live auction, bids will be made in increments of $1,000 until the bidder's maximum bid is reached. The winning bidder must have completed an Ironman 70.3 or other long distance triathlon by Oct. 1 prior to the Hawaii race date and is required to submit a completed athlete waiver to Ironman. For a complete list of auction rules, go to


"As we prepare for our third annual event, we recognize the importance of the event sponsors like Ironman," said Virginia Tinley, CAF's Executive Director. "The Ironman slot has always been a significant and extremely popular item in the live auction, and has raised many thousands of dollars to support the important mission of the Challenged Athletes Foundation."


Held at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, A Celebration of Heroes, Heart and Hope will feature challenged athlete "stars," celebrities, and notable New Yorkers. Funds raised at the event will help challenged athletes overcome the economic roadblocks to participation in sports and live life to the fullest. This year's gala will honor Mark Holowesko, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Holowesko Partners Ltd. for his leadership, contributions and athletic success.



About Challenged Athletes Foundation

Since 1994, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) has raised more than $21 million and satisfied more than 4,000 funding requests from challenged athletes around the world via its Access for Athletes program. CAF provide funding directly to physically challenged individuals for the acquisition of adaptive sports equipment like sports wheelchairs, mono-skis, tandem bicycles, handcycles and sports prosthetics. Additionally CAF provides funds to entry- and elite-level athletes for training and competition expenses. Through its other programs - Catch a Rising Star (mentoring and introduction to sports), Operation Rebound (for U.S. military personnel and first responders injured while serving) and Reach High (community outreach), the organization reaches an additional 65,000 individuals per year. In 2009, CAF distributed more than $1.36 million in funding to 765 individuals in 49 U.S. states and 25 countries. To learn more, log on to or call 858-866-0959.



About Ironman



World Triathlon Corporation, owners and organizers of Ironman, is a Florida-based company recognized for athletic excellence, performance and quality products. With the addition of the Ironman 70.3 Series, Ironman now has more than 42 qualifying events worldwide. Supported by partners that include Ford Motor Company, Dell, Timex and Gatorade, Ironman is the No.1 user-based sports brand in the world. Ironman has been a respected name in triathlon since its inception nearly 30 years ago and is regarded as the world's most challenging endurance event. Millions may remember moments in Ironman history such as Julie Moss' crawl to the finish line in 1982, which was showcased on ABC's Wide World of Sports. Each year, more than 80,000 athletes compete for slots in the Ford Ironman World Championship held every October in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and the Ironman World Championship 70.3 held every November in Clearwater, FL. The Ironman brand has been featured in a range of media outlets to include NBC, CNN Headline News, The Wall Street Journal, People, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and USA Today.






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Press Release


An exciting, record-breaking day of racing closed the 2009 XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series on Saturday in Malibu. Almost 750 runners stepped up to the start line of what race director Brennan Lindner called "the perfect XTERRA course with a little bit of everything. Runners had to tackle steep climbs, sweet single track, and long descents. It was a killer race that really pushed everyone to their limits."


No stranger to the XTERRA SoCal Series after winning the last two races, triathlete legend Heather Fuhr, 41 from Encinitas, beat her own 2008 course record by one minute finishing in just 1 hour, 47 minutes, 34 seconds. Chasing her was Culver City resident Mary Lockton, 31, crossing the line almost 2½ minutes behind Fuhr to claim the runner-up position.


Los Angeles local and City of Angels Half-Marathon champion Romualdo Sanchez, 39, won the 22-kilometer event in 1:38:53, beating Newbury Park's Jonathan Tolker by three minutes. Sanchez, a SoCal running star, also has his sights on the LA Marathon coming up in just two weeks.


In addition to the main half-marathon distance Xduro event, a fun 6-kilomter race took part in the day's festivities. Jaakko Hiekkatanta of Lexington, KY and Kyle Legones of Huntington Beach won the men's and women's races in 27:14 and 30:01, respectively.


Not only did the course reward runners with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean, they were met at the finish line with the welcome sight of a hot breakfast consisting of eggs, muffins and tons of cold Gatorade.


While it's sad to see the 2009 XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series come to an end, Regional champions will be crowned and invited to race for free in the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship coming up on Sunday, September 13 in Bend, Ore. Hannah Rae Finchamp, a 13-year old from Altadena, who has clinched one of these coveted titles said, "The XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series puts on the best races. I love the challenges XTERRA provides that make me dig a little deeper to find energy and strength I didn't think I had."


Upcoming 2010 XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series

XTERRA Point Mugu Xduro Trail Run 11K / 18K - 09/29/09 - Oxnard, CA

XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot Trail Run 5K /10K / 15K - 11/26/09 - Topanga, CA

XTERRA Crystal Cove Trail Run 5K / 15K - 12/13/09 - Newport Coast, CA


For more information, visit or call 877-XTERRA-1.



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San Diego, Calif - Some of the world's most accomplished and inspirational physically challenged athletes will take center stage at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City for the third annual A Celebration of Heroes, Heart and Hope gala (Heroes, Heart and Hope) on June 10 to benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). The gala event, which this year will honor Mark Holowesko - the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Holowesko Partners Ltd. - raised more than $800,000 in 2008 to fund handcycles, running prosthetics and other specialized equipment to help physically challenged athletes overcome the economic barriers that far too often prevent them from participating in sports and athletic activities.


"CAF's message of heroes, heart and hope will be a breath of fresh air for New York area supporters during these tough economic times," said Scott Stackman, Senior Vice President of UBS Financial Services Inc. and Chairman of the Heroes, Heart and Hope gala organizing committee. "Our goal at this event is to continue to raise awareness in the New York Tri-State area of what is possible given the right resources, and raise funds to get more physically challenged athletes off the sidelines and into the game."


The Heroes, Heart and Hope gala will also recognize sports legends and celebrities like Ironman greats Paula Newby-Fraser, Dave Scott and Scott Tinley, but the real stars will be the more than 20 physically challenged athletes - from kids to Hawaii Ironman finishers, from trailblazers to troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan - who are supported by CAF and will attend the event. Their stories of breaking barriers and perseverance will be showcased during the evening's program. Highlighted athletes will include:




  • New York's own Sam Cila. An American hero, who joined the New York National Guard after September 11, was injured in Iraq on July 4, 2005 and subsequently lost his hand. Sam continues to heal through sports.

  • David Gelfand. Born with the same condition as CAF Spokesperson and CBS's Amazing Race reality star Sarah Reinertsen - his idol, this young Weston, Connecticut native, an above-knee amputee, offers hope to other physically challenged kids.

  • Deanna Babcock. A competitive athlete her whole life, she was devastated when she lost her leg after suffering a heart attack at the young age of 23. Now with a new running foot, she's back into sport, and back into life.

  • Ricky James. When a motocross accident went horribly wrong, he lost the use of his legs, but not his competitive spirit.


The spirited live auction at the Heroes, Heart and Hope gala boasts a coveted spot in the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, (donated by Ironman) which last year was won with a $45,000 bid. Individuals unable to attend the Heroes, Heart and Hope gala will be able place proxy bids on the Ironman slot ahead of the event. Go to for details and rules.


"Tickets and sponsorship opportunities for this inspirational evening are still available" said Virginia Tinley, CAF's Executive Director. "Sponsors already on-board include: Ironman, Major League Baseball, Men's Health, and UBS Private Wealth Management, and it's through their support, that this uplifting evening is made possible."





The Heroes, Heart and Hope gala begins at 6 pm with cocktails and a silent auction in the Astor Salon. The dinner and program begin at 7:30 pm in the Grand Ballroom. The Waldorf=Astoria is located at 301 Park Ave in New York. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to: Tickets to the event are $500.



On June 13, CAF athletes participating in the Heroes, Heart and Hope gala will hold a special multisport clinic, sponsored by Accenture at Asphalt Green (York Ave. between 90th and 92nd Streets in Manhattan) for local physically challenged athletes. For more information, contact:






Since 1994, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) has raised more than $21 million and satisfied more than 4,000 requests for funding from challenged athletes around the world via its Access for Athletes program. Through its other programs - Catch a Rising Star (mentoring and introduction to sports), Operation Rebound (for U.S. military personnel and first responders injured while serving) and Reach High (community outreach), the organization reaches an additional 65,000 individuals per year. In 2009, CAF distributed more than $1.36 million in funding to 765 individuals in 49 U.S. states and 25 countries. To learn more, log on to or call 858-866-0959.









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Press Release


U.S. Elite Triathletes Welcome Competitors From the Americas, Caribbean


OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (May 5, 2009) - Elite athletes from the Americas and Caribbean nations will gather in the heartland of the United States for the 2009 ITU Pan American Triathlon Confederation Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla., on May 16.


The elite draft-legal Olympic distance championship races are part of the weekend of activities at the Boathouse International Triathlon. Sprint distance junior and age group races are also on the schedule. A total prize purse of $30,000 will be awarded in the elite division.


The race also kicks off the five-race USA Triathlon Twenty-12 Elite Series, the first year in a build up to the 2012 London Olympic Games.


"This is a great opportunity for athletes from all of the PATCO countries to come together and compete and form new friendships," said USA Triathlon Sport Performance Director Scott Schnitzspahn. "We look forward to hosting this event where PATCO athletes can earn valuable points for the ITU World Cup and World Championship Series entries down the line."  


The participant list for U.S. athletes includes several from the USAT National Teams program, including Sara McLarty, Julie Ertel, Jasmine Oeinck, Becky Lavelle, Jillian Petersen, Hunter Kemper, Matt Reed, Brian Fleischmann, Ethan Brown, Matt Chrabot, and Tim O'Donnell. Petersen and Chrabot are the defending PATCO champions. The junior races will feature some of the top up-and-coming U.S. and international competitors.


The U.S. athletes will serve as proud hosts to athletes from Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Honduras, and other Pan American countries.


The race begins off the docks of Chesapeake Boathouse with a one lap, 1.5k swim in the Oklahoma Rivers. Athletes will then bike 40k, four laps north and south up Lincoln Boulevard circling the Oklahoma State Capitol. The race ends with a 10k, four lap run along the River Trails west of the Boathouse.


The Oklahoma River

More than $56 million was spent to create what is now known as the Oklahoma River. Completed in 2004, the seven miles of river offers one of the best aquatic sports venues in the country. Since its conception, the Oklahoma River has hosted international Olympians in the USA Rowing World Challenge and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Flatwater Sprint.


Find out more about the venue.


About the Twenty-12 Elite Series



The Series follows the highly successful four-year Haul to the Great Wall Series. Twenty-12 will give triathlon fans a chance to see athletes who are looking to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games. The series will include U.S. and international competitors, some who have competed in past Olympic Games and others who are beginning to make names for themselves on the international triathlon circuit.


2009 Twenty-12 Series Race Schedule



Boathouse International Triathlon

Location: Oklahoma City, Okla.

Date: May 16

Prize Purse: $30,000

Details: PATCO Championship



Location: Austin, Texas

Date: May 25

Prize Purse: $10,000


Hy-Vee Triathlon

Date: June 27

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Prize Purse: $1,000,000


San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island

Date: July 11

Location: San Francisco, Calif.

Prize Purse: $20,000


Elite and U23 National Championship

Date: August 22

Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Prize Money: $30,000







About USA Triathlon

USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the national governing body for triathlon - the fastest growing sport in the U.S. - as well as duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT sanctions 2,500 races and connects with more than 115,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USAT provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Championships, Pan American Games, and the Olympic Games.



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