The fourth annual Tri-For-Our Veterans Triathlon took place this past Saturday, May 28, in Sea Isle City and raised $42,000 to be dispersed between the Injured Marines “Semper Fi” Fund and VFW Post 1963, two charities that serve injured veterans.
“This was our most successful triathlon to date,” said race director Bridgette Summa. “It is a great feeling to give back to those who fight for our freedom.”
Competitors from all over the country traveled to Sea Isle City to participate in this year’s event, which turned out to be the largest one to date with over 300 participants. Several different organizations from around the region were also represented in the race such as the Marine’s Team Semper Fi, the United States Naval Academy, the Coast Guard’s Team Semper Paratus, Philadelphia Tri-Club, and Drexel University’s Triathlon Team.
The triathlon began with a quarter-mile ocean swim and was followed by an eight-mile bike ride. The race concluded with a three-mile run.
Matthew Miller of Philadelphia took home first place overall in the competition, crossing the finish line in 48 minutes and 22 seconds. Tom Salveson, a Drexel University student from Cape May Court House, N.J., finished closed behind Miller in second place with a time of 48 minutes and 27 seconds. Jeff Whiteway, of Potomoc, Md., took third place with a time of 48 minutes and 56 seconds.
The most notable performance of the event may have been that of retired Marine Aaron McMihelk. He was the top “hand cycle racer” of the day after finishing the land-portion of the race from his wheelchair. McMihelk, of Valley Springs, Calif., crossed the finish line with a time of 1-hour and 51 minutes.
The event proved to be a large of success, much of which can be attributed to the many volunteers who worked the race, the large contingent of spectators who attended and the beautiful weather in which the race was fortunate enough to take place.
“I am very grateful to all of our sponsors and everyone else who participated in this race—including our many volunteers,” said Summa. “We could not have done it without everyone pitching in together.” — Nate Mulberg