Five fierce St. Baldrick’s volunteers fueled their athletic aspirations into a philanthropic endeavor by boldly tackling the world famous 2012 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon on June 10 and raising money for childhood cancer research.
With only 2,000 people given the opportunity to experience the race each year, these volunteers were the first ever to participate on behalf of St. Baldrick’s. The team’s joint fundraising efforts raised over $21,000 for life-saving research – almost twice the original fundraising goal. Team members included Mike Anello, Fernando Garcia, Kelly Johnston, Jason LaStella, and Michael Sullivan.
See photos of the entire team, throughout the race and crossing the finish line.
After conquering the race, Mike and Kelly shared their experiences:“It’s been a dream of mine to compete in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, and to have the opportunity to represent St. Baldrick’s was truly an honor. Alcatraz is widely regarded as one of the premier triathlons in the world and is also one of the hardest courses. As my body broke down during the race, I kept thinking of all the amazing kids I had met over my four years raising money for St. Baldrick’s. It was the courage I saw in each and every one of those boys’ and girls’ smiles that carried me across the finish line. This event will be something I take with me the rest of my life.” – Mike Anello
“I knew it was going to be very difficult to complete this — my first ever triathlon… I used the stories of all the brave children fighting cancer to keep my legs moving even when I wanted to stop. They all inspired me to push harder. This triathlon was more than just a swim, bike, run — it was an opportunity to reach out to more people about the needs of this Foundation. Every person I met I told about this wonderful organization and how fortunate I am to be a part of it. People kept telling me how courageous I was for taking on this triathlon. But to me it didn’t take courage, just one leap of faith into the cold waters of the San Francisco Bay. All the children battling cancer are the courageous ones. I’m just trying to do my part to help them fulfill their dreams, because this Foundation is helping me fulfill mine.” – Kelly Johnston
If you are interested in pairing fundraising for St. Baldrick’s with your athletic endeavors, head over to our Sports page to see how you can get involved.