Westfield resident Mark Shore is one of a dozen athletes who make up Born To Tri, a team participating in the Aquaphor New York City Triathlon, an Olympic-distance triathlon, on Sunday, July 8 to benefit the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS).
For the past decade, Shore has been actively raising money for charities that benefit either children or cancer foundations. When he became involved with the Cranford-based Team in Training two years ago, he said it was a good fit because it marries the two.
As a TNT member, athletes receive training by certified coaches, fundraising support and the chance to raise funds in honor of a local blood cancer patient. In return, TNT covers all entry fees, transportation and lodging costs to the event, according to the sports training program's website. TNT has trained over 540,000 participants and raised over $1.2 billion to fund research and treatment advances for cancer patients around the world.
Shore said he decided that rather than just raising $2,000 to $3,000 on his own, he would put a team together with a goal of raising a larger sum. As he began putting out feelers, he said he was surprised by the enthusiastic response he received.
"A team of five quickly grew to 12," the triathlete said. "We're on pace to raise $30,000."
Shore said the team began training in February for the event, which is comprised of a 1.5 kilometer swim in the Hudson River that begins at 96th Street, a 20-kilometer bike ride along the West Side Highway and a 10-kilometer run through the streets of Manhattan that concludes in Central Park.
"It's a good group," Shore said. "Everybody's overcoming their own trepidations. For many of the participants, this will be their first triathlon. Some have done a couple and are changing their mindsets from 'completers' to 'competers.' We have one guy who never swam before and now he's swimming over a mile in 35 minutes."
Shore said while some members of the team have reservations about swimming in the Hudson, they are willing to brave it for the cause.
Although Born to Tri is only $2,000 away from its $30,000 goal, fundraising efforts are as unstoppable as team itself. The group will host a yard sale from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or "until everything is gone" on Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9 at 833 St. Mark's Ave.
What's unique about this sale, Shore said, is that rather than offering pre-priced items, shoppers can suggest what they feel is a fair price and all proceeds will be donated to LLS and are tax-deductible. Shore said Team in Training is supplying them with a tent as well as the donations forms.
The team is also hosting a yoga class at at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 15 at Gold Medal Fitness. The class is open to members and non-members. The cost is $25 per person, all of which will be donated to LLS, and collected at the door. A Westfield mom who happens to be a yoga instructor has offered to donate her time.
Shore said there will likely be one post-race fundraiser at The Kilkenny House in Cranford. He said a past fundraiser at the popular Irish pub garnered close to $2,000.
The Born to Tri team includes:
- Josie Coston-OBrien
- Kirsten Fallon
- Linda Habgood
- Jo Kinsella
- Sean O'Brien
- David Sutton
- Roselle Schjong
- Mark Shore
- Luke Williamson
- Gary Zanfagna
- Lori Bennett
- Elizabeth Talmont, who will compete in Philadelphia
To learn more about Born to Tri or to make a donation to the team or individual participants, visit the team's website or mail a check to:
14 Commerce Dr
Cranford, NJ 07016