Racing My First Ironman to Rebuild Louisiana Strong
Organized by: Shane Foster
EVENT DATE Aug 21, 2016
2.4 Mile Swim
112 Mile Bike
26.2 Mile Run
Sunday, August 21st, I will be completing my first Ironman in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Growing up in Walker, Louisiana, I didn't imagine this was even possible for me. I didn't know any triathletes, and the possibility of completing an Ironman was light years away. Now, on the week of my big race, my home town and the surrounding area is in ruins.
I've watched in disbelief as family and friends were devastated by a 1000 year storm that brought nearly 2 feet of rain to towns including Walker, Central, Watson, Denham Springs, Livingston, Springfield and Baton Rouge. These areas have never been flooded to this extent before, and they are well above sea level. It's not an exaggeration to say that these areas are experiencing Katrina level destruction. Eleven people are confirmed dead, 30,000 people were evacuated, and about 40,000 homes were damaged. And those are just preliminary numbers based on reports.
I live in Montana now, and I have felt helpless as I watched my lifelong friends and their families experience this life changing event without much national media coverage. And because of the extreme rarity of the storm, many of them will be forced to start again without the aid of flood insurance. That's why I want to use my race to raise awareness and funds to help my home community get the support they need as they get back on their feet.
The Baton Rouge Area Foundation Flood Relief Fund has "dispatched staff members across the Baton Rouge region to find where needs are the greatest. Their research will ensure that your donations go quickly and directly to nonprofits that are doing the most for people who call Louisiana home. One is the Louisiana Relief Fund. The other are employee assistance funds, where employers can assist their own employees and receive tax deductions for contributions. The Foundation is also working with nonprofits that are responding to the flood and with sheltering organizations."
So please help me bring awareness and the support needed to my fellow Louisianans during their struggle. Let's show them that they are not alone and make sure that they have the tools they need to remain Louisiana Strong.