Triathletes Support Puerto Rico’s Recovery Efforts

Photo: Competitive Image / @CompImagePhoto

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Almost six months to the day after the incredible devastation of the category 4 Hurricane Maria, the eighth edition of Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico started in the early morning of the beautiful Condado Lagoon.

Storm damage was obvious throughout the day. The transition area had to move out of Sixto Escobar Stadium, where the exterior walls are now crumbling; the ocean view restaurant has been reduced to piles of used lumber; and the thinning of the lush tropical forest that now give unexpected ocean views.

The Ironman Foundation awarded $120,000 in grants to five local non-profit organizations to address long-term recovery needs in five areas: reforestation, water quality, solar power, hunger, and home restoration. Funding was raised by donations to the Humanitarian Relief Effort campaign including generous donations from New York Health & Racquet Club (NYHRC), Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and NFL veteran Don Davey in conjunction with his fundraising efforts with the VIKTRE Challenge. The grantees were recognized at the Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico awards ceremony after the race.

The grantees are:
– Puerto Rico Conservation Trust: Funding to plant one million trees over the next 10 years.
– Corporation for the Conservation of the San Juan Bay Estuary: Funding to restore the water quality of the Condado Lagoon and associated ecosystems.
– Foundation for Puerto Rico: Funding to install solar power in two communities.
– Banco de Alimentos de Puerto Rico: Funding to support the food bank and feed those in need.
– Buena Vibra Foundation: Funding to replace roofs, rebuild homes and restore the community of Barrio Ingenio, including the Community Revitalization Volunteer Day on March 19.

In addition, Ironman Foundation provided $1,000 to #yonomequito (meaning I won’t quit), a group of motorcyclists who, since the storm, have been delivering water filtration and solar units to Puerto Rican mountain communities that were otherwise inaccessible.

All photos and words by Paul Phillips/Competitive Image/@Compimagephoto.

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