Triathlon brings out the best – celebrates life
The relative peace and quiet in and around the Cascade Shores neighborhood on Scotts Flat Lake will give way to the din of hundreds of athletes when the eighth annual Barbara Schmidt Millar Celebration of Life women1s triathlon kicks off Sunday.
The event, whose goal is to provide breast cancer screening services, as well as college scholarships for women entering nursing or medical fields, has raised more than $90,000 since its inception.
3The entire community at Cascade Shores have been just great. There must be 1,000 people in their neighborhood from all of the athletes, volunteers and staff, and they1ve just opened their opened their arms to us,² event director Cathy Anderson-Meyers said.
Anderson-Meyers came up with the idea for a local triathlon as a fund-raiser after her her longtime friend, Schmidt Millar, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
3I had always been a runner, and I had a friend who was the national spokeswoman for the Danskin Women1s Triathlon Series who had always wanted me to come try one, but I always thought it would be to hard,² she said.
3Then I found out Danskin gave a percentage to the Susan G. Kamen Breast Cancer Foundation.²
She put two and two together, then headed back home to Chicago Park after the competition to work out the details for the first BSM triathlon.
3Barbara knew I was training and she lived in Grass Valley, so I1d ride my bike in from Chicago Park and stop by all hot and sweaty,² Anderson-Meyers said. 3The first year there was a group of 13 women who all knew her through (playing with her in the adult) volleyball (leagues) who were gung ho, but it was very unfortunate she died two weeks before we put it on.²
Schmidt Millar, who would have been 49 years old this year, wasn1t around to see the final result, but Anderson-Meyers, event assistants Viki Brake and Lindsay Kremple and the hundreds of people who1ve volunteered over the years have worked overtime to make it a must-do event for the area1s female athletes.
3They1ve all been invaluable since the beginning. It1s amazing how many of theses individuals either knew Barbara, or her husband or her family. She touched a lot of lives in the community in a very special way,² Anderson-Meyers added.
More than 300 women and men have received services free of charge in the six years the BSM triathlon and the Sierra Nevada Breast Imaging Center have been affiliated.
All of the 300 spots in the swim/bike/run portion have been filled, but women interested in a 5K walk/run can sign up at Club Sierra from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.
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