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Examiner
  • Family trains for triathlon to honor Sandy Hook victim

  • When the Ramer family heard the horrifying news of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary last December, it hit close to home for the Blue Springs family.



    The son of Tim Ramer’s cousin, Chase Kowalski, was one of the young victims who died at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn.

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  • When the Ramer family heard the horrifying news of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary last December, it hit close to home for the Blue Springs family.
    The son of Tim Ramer’s cousin, Chase Kowalski, was one of the young victims who died at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn.
    “This wasn’t like one of those cousins that you never see,” said Brooke Ramer. “The family comes here every summer and stays at my in-laws. My 8-year-old remembers him (Chase), so when we heard about what happened it was hard.”
    But instead of dwelling on the way Chase died, the Ramers have decided to remember him in a more positive way. The two Ramer children - 4-year-old Vivian and 8-year-old Stella – will be participating in the Blue Springs Kids Triathlon. Chase, a 7-year-old who loved sports, competed in his first triathlon at age 6 and also participated in several community road races before his death.
    The Ramers have a goal of raising $500, all of which will be donated to the Chase Kowalski Memorial Fund.
    “This is an opportunity for the kids to learn about charity and doing something to help others,” Ramer said. “The other part is keeping them active, which is one of the event’s biggest missions.”
    This is the second year for the Kids Triathlon, which is being presented by the Blue Springs Hy-Vee. The event is June 15 and designed for children 4 to 14 years old. The competition begins with registration at 6:15 a.m. at the Blue Springs Family YMCA, 1300 S.E. Adams Dairy Parkway. The triathlon events begin at 7:30 a.m.
    “The triathlon started last year as a part of the Let’s Move initiative,” said Brandon Martin, chair of the Kids Triathlon Committee. “It is fun to watch the kids get excited and fun as they race. The best part is that kids at any level can be a part of it.”
    There are three levels for children to choose from in the event. The Tri for Tots is for those 4 and up who need help during the event. They must swim 20 yards, and then bike and run one-quarter of a mile each. Children can use floatation devices in the pool or training wheels on the bike, and a parent or guardian can run with them during the race.
    The Novice Division is for children 6 to 10 years old. They must swim 25 yards, bike for one and a quarter mile and run .53 mile. This is designed for children new to triathlons.
    The final division is the Competitive Divisions, which are separated into 6 to 10 year olds and 11 to 14 year olds. The younger group must swim 100 yards, bike two miles and run one mile. The older group must swim 200 yards, bike four miles and run two miles. Trophies will be awarded to the top three males and females in each group.
    Page 2 of 2 - All of the swimming events will be at the Blue Springs YMCA, with the biking along Adams Dairy Parkway. The road will be closed during the event. The running will be through the campus of Blue Springs South High School and Young Park.
    Registration is required and ends June 12. Proceeds will go to support the Let’s Move! initiative.
    “This event gives kids confidence as they are competing against other kids at their level,” Martin said. “It also gets them active because it takes 12 to 20 weeks to prepare for an event like this. Parents can’t just open the door and tell them to go outside. It is about the family getting involved and being truly active together. We hope that as the kids get active during that duration, it will become a life-long activity for them.”
    Ramer said her girls are “super excited” about participating in the triathlon. The family has been running and riding their bikes around Lake Remembrance to prepare. She said, however, it is also a way for the family to remember a special boy whose life was taken much too quickly.
    “I think it helps remembers someone in a good way when it was something so tragic that happened,” Ramer said. “I think what is good is to remember people in a positive way and this is a way we can do that.”
    For more information or to get registration forms, visit www.bluespringsgov.com/kidstriathlon or call the Blue Springs Parks and Recreation Department at 816-228-0137.
    For information on the Ramer’s fundraising efforts for the Chase Kowalski Memorial Foundation, visit www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/brookeramer/bluespringskidstriathalonrace4chase.
     
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