Chase Kowalski, a first grader who lost his life at Sandy Hook Elementary School, continues to inspire others.
He competed in his first triathlon at the age of 6, and this weekend, two women will carry on his mission by paying it forward.
Swimming two miles, biking more than 100, and finishing it by running a full marathon…That's the schedule for Saturday's first ever Chase the Coast Triathlon.
"I want to do something different, I want to raise money for something, so I just shouted out one day to my friend Chris, ‘I'm going to swim, bike and run the coast of Connecticut’ and said ‘you're going to come with me’," said Heather Theriault, who is an endurance athlete and has competed in a number of triathlons, but Saturdays is different.
She came up with the idea to raise money for the Race4Chase Foundation after her daughter took part in the kid’s triathlon last year and loved it.
"I don't have a lot of money to give, but I have my time to give, my energy and my passion to give and I used that to pay if forward to Race4Chase for what they did for my daughter and what they're continuing to do for my kids,” Theriault said.
She and Chris Kopcha, a friend and co-worker at Funktion Fitness in Old Saybrook, will swim, bike and run together, roughly 140 miles.
"To go out and to do something that is bringing a lot of awareness to a great organization. We've had a lot of support along the way and I'm just beside myself, I can't even explain how excited I am going into this,” Kopcha said.
The Chase the Coast starts Saturday morning, with a 2 mile swim in Greenwich, and then a 110-mile bike ride to East Lyme, before running 26.2 miles into Rhode Island.
Cheering them on and even biking with them a bit on Saturday will be Chase’s mom, Rebecca Kowalski.
"Nobody has done an Iron Man distance along the coast of Connecticut that we know about it, took it, embraced it and ran with it and we are so pumped that this is actually happening,” Rebecca Kowalski said.
During the Chase the Coast, Heather and Chris will stop at a number of YMCA’s along the coast to refuel, including in Mystic where a playground was built in honor of Grace McDonnell, a fellow first grader who lost her life at Sandy Hook.
"We really hope everyone comes out and cheers us on. Everybody knows about Race4Chase and that out of this, more children will have the opportunity to take part in the program and benefit from what they do,” Theriault said.
They are also using an app that lets you track the athletes this weekend in real time.
For more information on the race, click here.
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