Let's Build Karen's Trail!
When I was a newbie triathlete and my friend Barb invited me to try a bike workout in Karen's basement, I didn't know who Karen was or that I was about to embark on quite an adventure!
Soon after starting those basement sessions, I tagged along with the crew to Ironman Louisville. We chased Barb & Tammy & friends all over Louisville in sweltering heat—I was sweaty and tired just spectating—but I was moved to be part of the action. As we were packing up to head home I was already peppering Karen with questions about bikes—and she let me know in her trademark straightforward way that a new bike wasn’t what I needed right then.
Fast forward a few years, and it felt like graduation when Karen and Lew took me to get a new bike. I’m happy she knew I finished my first 70.3 in Muncie, and I felt like a kid at Christmas when she offered to help me with some skills I needed to tackle the next distance. Her tragic accident happened right as we were getting started. (And then I began to learn about the scores of other women she inspired and supported in athletic endeavors—she was so quiet about all of it, including her own accomplishments, that you’d just never know.)
I’ve continued training and racing, and it’s finally time to pick a goal race. Louisville (2019) seems fitting. And it seems even more fitting to make it a fundraiser for Karen’s Trail. My goal is to get a sponsor for every mile of 140.6 miles at $100 per mile.
Please join me on this Ironman journey and in the vision of Karen’s family to complete 70 miles of connected trail in Washtenaw County within 5 years. It’s a beautiful legacy and I’m excited to be a part of it. Let’s build Karen’s Trail!
Karen's Trail wrote -
The Karen's Trail Campaign: Build the Border-to Border Trail!
Karen McKeachie, a pioneer in women’s sports, world-class triathlete, community leader and a beloved friend of many, was killed in August 2016 while biking on Dexter-Chelsea Road. It is the wish of Karen’s husband, family and friends to honor Karen’s life and legacy by building the Border-to-Border (B2B) Trail and providing safe, non- motorized pathways for all.
The effort to honor Karen’s legacy began with a generous $1 million gift from Karen’s parents, Bill and Ginny McKeachie, and a $100,000 gift from Lew Kidder, Karen’s husband. The Karen’s Trail campaign is designed to build upon the family gifts by raising an additional $1 million by December, 2017.
The campaign is a public, grass roots effort with the dual purpose of constructing the B2B and commemorating Karen. Karen's Trail campaign supporters will be present at athletic and community events throughout the area in 2017, to provide more information about the trail and share Karen's story. To find out about opportunities for community engagement or how you can support the trail, please visit our website at huron-waterloo-pathways.org.