Last year I raised funds to be able to do my first Half Ironman this year and I well surpassed my goal and have participated in not just one, but two Half Ironmans this year, in addition to three Olympic distance tris and one Sprint distance tri!!
My BIG ultimate goal has always been to do a Full Ironman and 2018 will be the year I tackle it for the first time!!
As you can imagine, triathlon training, supplies, racing, and traveling to races is expensive. Firstly, there are costs just to enter (and that can get more expensive depending on when you register) and on top of that there's air fare, checking my bike, hotel, car rental, food, etc...it definitely adds up.
The races that I've chosen for 2018 are relatively close to where I live in NYC, but even without travel, I'm still looking at well over $1000 just for entry for my races (I will be doing a Full and 1-2 Half Ironmans to prepare for the Full.)
This is where my friends and family (and maybe even strangers if I'm lucky) come in. I'm hoping to raise funds to help cover my entry costs for my 2018 triathlon season. I am starting this campaign now because entries for Full Ironmans fill up FAST and the ones I am interested in are already almost full and are getting more expensive as more participants sign up. I'm hoping to register for entries to all my races by the end of September or by the end of the year at the very latest.
If you don't know me well and you're asking yourself; "Why on earth would she do that to herself???" Well...here is my answer: My mom was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's two years ago. I'd watched my grandmother go through it, but I never imagined having to watch my mom go through it so soon. As my mom's illness advanced, I found myself horribly depressed. It was as though the Alzheimer's has tapped into a dark part of me and I began to wonder if she was taking a piece of me with her. Watching her slowly and cruelly lose her mind had me feeling like I too was disappearing. I knew I had to do something to fight against this feeling, and I knew I needed a space; a mechanism where I could turn my grief into something good. I decided that although the reservoir of sadness continues to get bigger, I wanted to do something positive for me, something that made me feel like I was here and alive. I know that's what my mom would want for me. And that's where triathlon comes in. Obviously there are constraints to that (money, hello?!), but I've carved a new path using triathlon. I use the training and racing as a way to lean into life. In the face of this incredible void, I am choosing joy and meaning through this mechanism. I want to remind myself that I am not leaving. Even as my mother's light continues to fade, and her memories of me fade, I want to feel like I am still here. I am not leaving. I am arriving. As a way to honor my mom, I plan to take any excess of the proceeds and donate it to The Alzheimer's Association - the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.
You can learn more about what they do here: http://www.alz.org/
Any contribution would mean the world to me. I am truly grateful and humbled by any gift that is bestowed upon me. And perhaps this goal will inspire others to live vibrantly as well and lean into life while there is still time.
- Sonia Coletta
- David Barker
- Anita Painitz
- Bas van Bergeijk
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