Cambridge Multi-Sport, Special Athletes represent at Eagleman

MD-cms at eagleman 3x-061516

Special to Dorchester Banner
Members of Cambridge Multi-Sport Club paused for a photo Sunday morning before the start of the Eagleman 70.3 Ironman Triathlon. While some competed, others served as volunteers.

CAMBRIDGE — At the annual Eagleman 70.3 IRONMAN triathlon, there are athletes from around the U.S., from China, Australia, Canada…and Dorchester County.

Many of the locals were members of Cambridge Multi-Sport Club, a group of competitors and fitness enthusiasts that not only tests their skills in races, but also support each other and volunteer to help run meets.

“Yesterday was an awesome day for CMS as athletes, volunteers, captains, sherpas, and supporters,” a statement from the club said. “Lessons were learned, new goals formulated, more determination mustered…the CMS wave continues.”

The club is open to people of all fitness levels. While there are organized workouts for a variety of sports, participation in not mandatory.

But if someone expects to compete in a grueling contest like the Eagleman, participation is certainly encouraged. The race begins with a 1.2-mile swim, moves on to a 56-mile bike ride, and finishes with a 13.1-mile run.

Some CMS members raced as individuals, where several won awards in their age groups. Others took part in relays, in which one athlete tackles each leg of the course.

CMS’ TriCycle and Rummies relay team earned glory for the club with a first-place finish out of 27 teams in their division, in a time of 4:54:12.

“Almost 20 CMS members competed in Eagleman,” teammate and competitor Dean Goodwin said. “Additionally, six CMS members swam the 4.4-mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim on Sunday. Members not competing were seen throughout the weekend as volunteers and Ironman captains.”

CMS athletes competing in the 2016 Eagleman were: Melissa Coenen, Cindy Palinkas, Tom Hutchinson, Brian Snow, Dave Loewensteiner, Aubrey Port, Marissa Carter, Patrick Allen, Ryan Cox, Luke Gilbert, Billy Hubbard, Melinda Wood, Michael Keene, Ben Pittsley, Dan Bieber, Dean Goodwin, Bill Webb, Jim Laverty, Cindy Gilbert, Jim, and Curt and Joe Kelly.

Competing in the 2016 Bay Swim were: Jane Thomas, Mikaela Boley, Anna Priester, Tracy Maccherola, Steve White and Chris Markin.

To learn more about CMS, visit cambridgemultisport.wordpress.com.

Athletes Serving Athletes spread joy at Eagleman

MD-athletes serving 2x-061416

Special to Dorchester Banner/Meg Maddox
Athletes Serving Athletes volunteer David Slomkowski helped James Banks to finish the Eagleman 70.3 Triathlon on Sunday. As a “wingman,” Mr. Slomkowski supports Mr. Banks in experiencing the joy and excitement of athletic competition.

CAMBRIDGE — Everyone knows that a person with a serious disability can’t participate in sports, right?
Wrong.

One look at “wingman” David Slomkowski making his way through the course of the Eagleman 70.3 Triathlon on Sunday with a thrilled James Banks would be enough to convince a spectator that with the help of Athletes Serving Athletes (ASA), just about anyone can feel the joy of sports.

“The wingman program empowers individuals with disabilities the opportunity to train and race in mainstream running and triathlon events,” ASA’s website said. “Each athlete is supported by his or her own unique team of wingmen.”

Athletes Serving Athletes began in Baltimore City in 2007. The project has grown to the point that it now helps athletes living with disabilities to train and compete in more than 60 running and triathlon events per year.

A wingman must attend a training session and raise at least $350 by race day. Assistive devices are supplied by ASA, a non-profit charity.

In a half triathlon such as Eagleman, athletes complete a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike course, and run 13.1 miles. The variety of devices available allow the athlete to participate fully and safely.

“I never realized how life-giving acting as another person’s legs could be,” wingman Pat Goodman said in a prepared statement. “To experience a short period of life laughing, competing, and pushing the limits helped me to see again that one of life’s greatest treasures is the treasure of helping people go places they have never gone or may never get to go. In doing so, I was taken to new places of joy and hope myself.”

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.