Athletes form team to race and donate

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan A group of athletes has formed a team to race in next year’s Eagleman Triathlon. As they train, they will raise money for the YMCA’s scholarship fund. In front from the left are Emily Ruf, Christine La Monica, Emily Cranwell, Lynn Stewart, Amy Dayton, Mike Stewart and Kathryn Adams. In back from the left are Kim Gibbons-Neff, Tracy Maccherola, Michael McGrath, Tina Ryan, Debbie Cornwell, Gerald Dayrit and Karen McGowan.

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
A group of athletes has formed a team to race in next year’s Eagleman Triathlon. As they train, they will raise money for the YMCA’s scholarship fund. In front from the left are Emily Ruf, Christine La Monica, Emily Cranwell, Lynn Stewart, Amy Dayton, Mike Stewart and Kathryn Adams. In back from the left are Kim Gibbons-Neff, Tracy Maccherola, Michael McGrath, Tina Ryan, Debbie Cornwell, Gerald Dayrit and Karen McGowan.

CAMBRIDGE – A group of athletes is putting their hard work towards a good cause, as they train for Eagleman 70.3 and raise money for the Pauline F. & W. David Robbins Family YMCA.

The TriMacc Team – under the guidance of competitor and trainer Tracy Maccherola – have banded together as they make their plaAns for the triathlon. “The team will collectively raise funds to open doors of opportunity to all members of the community,” YMCA Executive Director Missy Denault said. “We never turn anyone away.”

That means the facility’s scholarship fund needs constant replenishment, so the TriMAacc athletes have committed to raising $2,000 each to help pay for anyone of limited means who would like to join the Y.

The Eagleman 70.3 is so called because it is half the distance of a full Ironman triathlon. Scheduled for June 9, 2019, the race will feature a 1.2-mile swim in the Choptank, a 56-mile bike course and a run of 13.1 miles.

“Triathlon provides a way through which we can have fun and find friendship,” a statement in the Y’s newsletter says. “It is not really about winning or losing, but having fully lived and totally participated along the way.”

That sense of vitality is something that helps motivate Mike and Lynn Stewart. Mr. Stewart, at 72, is the senior member of the team.

“We’re everyday people. That’s what makes it so cool,” he said, adding that cruising along on a bike at 22 or 23 miles per hour – mighty fast on a bike – gives him a thrill. “It’s fun. I like to go fast,” he said.

What might be even more fun is running side-by-side with his wife, Lynn. The two have a trademark style, not only racing together, but also making a point of crossing finish lines holding hands.

Mr. Stewart said he could have run and finished by himself, but, “It wouldn’t have been as special.”

The crew is training on their own time now, but in February, things will get serious when Ms. Maccherola’s program begins. As veterans of at least one triathlon or her training camp, the athletes pretty much know what to expect.
“There’s no learning curve,” Ms. Maccherola said.

There will be alarm clocks, though – every Tuesday and Thursday, they will be hard at it from 5:15 a.m. to 6:45 a.m., with Ms. Maccherola coaching. On other days, they will be expected to train individually or in smaller groups.

Christine La Monica is a relative newcomer to the sport.

“I did Eagleman last year,” she said. “It was awesome.”

Now, she is enjoying the camaraderie of the project. “Different personalities, different strengths, different life experiences, one team, for one community!” she wrote on social media.

Those are feelings shared by others on the team.

“This group has bonded,” Mr. Stewart said. “Inside this tribe, there have been a lot of random acts of kindness.”

To donate to the YMCA through the team, visit www.classy.org/team/193403.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment