Challenged athletes tackle triathlon on Sunday


Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge, in which 125-plus challenged athletes will compete alongside their able-bodied counterparts in a 1.2-mile Cove swim, a 56-mile bike ride up the coast and a 13.1-mile run along Torrey Pines Road.

The event begins with athlete introductions at 7 a.m.

Last year’s competition was canceled due to wildfires. Nonetheless, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which raises money to help people with physical disabilities pursue an active lifestyle through physical fitness and competitive athletics, was able raise a record amount of money through the event to provide more than $1 million in funding to 625 challenged athletes across the U.S. and around the world.

Three 2008 U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalists - Rudy Garcia-Tolson, swimming, Oscar “Oz” Sanchez, handcycling, and Roy Perkins Jr., swimming - will compete in this year’s event.

Celebrities participating will include Mathew Broderick and Bahar Soomekh, whose 3-year-old son Ezra had his left leg amputated in March.

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The event comes on the heels of the Qualcomm Million Dollar Challenge, a 600-mile bike race that raises money to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Among those making the ride that started on Oct. 18 in San Francisco and ends Friday in La Jolla is Dr. Mitchel P. Goldman. Massage therapists from his La Jolla Spa MD staff were assisting riders at the end of each day.