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April 7, 2014

On your mark, get set, go! Floyd County YMCA holds Tri-at-the-Y

Run, bicycling and swimming attract participants

NEW ALBANY — Strong winds, cold temperatures and an early morning did not stop more than 125 contestants from gearing up and participating in the annual Tri-at-the-Y on Sunday.

The event, hosted by the Floyd County Branch of the YMCA on State Street in New Albany, started at 10 a.m. with an eight-mile bike ride followed by a two-mile run and wrapped up around 12:30 p.m. with 300 yards of swimming.

Nancy McCormick, swim instructor at the YMCA, has volunteered at the event for four years. She said she enjoys the triathlon because a wide variety of community members, and some of her swim students, are involved.

“This is an event for everyone and anyone,” she said. “I have seen participants as young as 12 ranging all the way up to 70.”  

Family members, friends and partners were encouraged to come cheer for those participating in the event. Folks brought bells, personalized signs, T-shirts and yelled as loud as they could to help keep spirits up.

In addition to a wide range of ages, there was also a wide range of experience. For some, like Deanna Hyde, New Albany, this was their first triathlon.

Amber Pappas, Indianapolis, and Chris White, New Albany, came to cheer Hyde on during her first race. Pappas said she drove two hours from Indianapolis to the race to surprise her mother.

Pappas proudly sported a handmade T-shirt that read “Team Deanna.” She also waved a vibrant orange sign for her mother that said “Proud daughter of Deanna Hyde.” Pappas said that she was happy to drive all that way to support her mom, as her mom always has supported her.

“She has never done anything like this before,” Pappas said. “It’s a real inspiration, and now I’m going to do this with her next year.”

White said that Hyde recently learned that her family has a history of muscular dystrophy and has become more active in hopes of preventing the disease from ever happening.

“The strongest encouragement she has comes from herself,” White said. “No one made her do this.”

For a younger participant, Amelia Rodriguez, 12, who has cystic fibrosis, Sunday wasn’t her first triathlon. In fact, it was her fourth. Her mother, father and younger brother Alex came to cheer her on.

Amelia’s mother, April Heiler-Rodriguez, has supported Amelia on all of her triathlons and said she could not be more proud.

“Amelia has a hard time dealing with cystic fibrosis, but she doesn’t show it,” Heiler-Rodriguez said. “It makes me cry every time I watch her race; she motivates herself completely. She always wants to do better and experience as much as she can.”


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