By Marshall Pickard
TIM KERR ISLANDMAN TRIATHLON
A good friend, Chris Kaag, got me into triathlons by challenging me to do his race, the Got the Nerve Triathlon. I ran, had been a soccer player and a swimmer and enjoyed biking, so I said why the hell not. Used my old cross bike and slogged my way through, but was I was hooked. As my passion grew, so did the number of triathlons I did and I also upgraded my bike to a decent carbon-framed road bike.
I first did the Islandman Triathlon in 2010 and did well despite running an extra lap on the run! In 2011 I upped my race schedule, but couldn’t do what would become my favorite race. However, I did compete in the Stone Harbor Triathlon. This is where karma hits.
The day before the race, I was doing my pre-race ride through Avalon when a borough work truck made a u-turn in front of me and cut across the bike lane. Result. Bike rams into the back of the truck. Rider and bike fall. Rider is banged up and bruised, but carbon frame is cracked! So after a trip to the emergency room, I made a trip to great guys at Hollywood Bicycles (who bailed me out again at a race when dad forgot his kid's bike helmets!) to see if the frame was fixable or they had any bikes I could rent or borrow.
Well, the frame was shot. They had no bikes that would fit my 6'4" frame. Things were looking dire. However, he knows a local triathlete and her husband who bike and thinks her husband’s bike would fit me. Problem solved.
Midge brings her husband Tim’s older Trek racing bike with a cushy seat and tells me to have fun and don’t worry about the bike. I am forever in her debt. As the owner “The Iguana” is fitting me I am curiously asking about the unusual seat. He just says, “Tim used to get knocked on his ass a lot playing hockey. He likes the extra cushion”. Obviously, I hadn’t made the connection yet.
It wasn’t until later that night I realized that I was racing on the bike of legendary Philadelphia Flyer, Tim Kerr! That act of generosity and Midge and Tim are very generous people, led myself, my wife, and my children to start regularly competing in and support Tim Kerr Charity events.
That’s a good story, but it doesn’t stop there. A year or two later Midge and I got to talking at a race. We soon learned we were both originally from Delaware County and then the same hometown, Media, PA! Turns out, Midge had gone to High School with my older brother and sister and had even coached my step-sister Springton Lake Middle School! Small world.
Now, I list the Islandman Triathlon as my favorite Tri and the best Tri to race for triathletes of Any level. The course is awesome! It is VERY well organized. Midge gives racers the BEST goodie bag of any triathlon for this size (and even better than most bigger and more expensive races). The five-deep awards, the Islandkids Triathlon, t-blocks in the transition area for bikes, the family award, post-race cold towels, great vendors, awesome post-race food spread, and the kid's summer multi-sport race series make this event one of the best of the East coast.
But what I truly love about it is the fact that raises money for several charitable causes and nonprofits. They raise money for individual families, C.H.O.P., Back on My Feet Philadelphia, and one near and dear to me, The Travis Manion Foundation.
So, if you’re looking to race the Islandman Triathlon, register today before the race sells out! Consider having her child participate in the kid-friendly Islandkids Triathlon. Join a team and fundraise. Or, maybe just be a youth mentor or volunteer. Either way, you’ll have a GREAT time.
And, if you need help training, check out my 12-week training plan for the Islandman Triathlon. 15% of ALL proceeds will be donated to Tim Kerr Charities.