On Sunday, hundreds of young children will swim, bike and run in honor of a little boy from Sandy Hook who loved to do just that.
Rebecca Kowalski has been training for her very first triathlon. While it is a grueling event, it is something she is doing in honor of her late son.
"He came in the house and said I want to do that thing mom, that race where you swim, bike, and run. I laughed and said that's a triathlon Chase and you're six, that's crazy,” Kowalski said.
Little Chase persisted. The family signed him up for one the very next weekend and he won his heat.
Following Chase’s death inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, his family said they knew exactly what to do to make sure his legacy lived on.
"We're going to honor his spirit and we're going to bring this to other children,” Kowalski said.
The Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation is taking the little boy’s love of sports and a competitive spirit and spreading it through its Race4Chase Community Triathlon this weekend.
"He'd jump right in, whether he was cheering somebody on or running his heart out, he'd be passionate about it, and he’d love it,” Kowalski said.
Last year nearly 200 children ages 6 through 12 were swimming, biking and running in and around Monroe’s Great Hollow Lake.
Last year the foundation teamed up with three local YMCAs to start the triathlon training programs for young children, and this year it is up to eight.
"We're taking mostly under served children, some didn't know how to bike, some didn't know how to swim, they're just starting off now and by Aug. 1, they'll do a triathlon and it’s great to see,” said Kevin Grimes, of Race4Chase.
The organizers are hoping for 300 children to attend on Sunday and there are still spots open.
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