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2013 San Diego Triathlon Challenge

See photos of the 2013 Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge, known as "the best day in tri."

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Photos: Rich Cruse

See photos of the 2013 Challenged Athletes Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge, known as “the best day in tri” above and read more about the event from Challenged Athlete Foundation co-founder Bob Babbitt below.

As a lower leg amputee, Jim MacLaren ran a 3:16 marathon and went 10:42 at the Ironman World Championship in the early 1990’s. In 1993, MacLaren was on his bike during a triathlon in California when a van went through a closed intersection, hit MacLaren and propelled him into a pole. He became a quadriplegic.

At that point in time the sport of triathlon stepped in and created a fundraising triathlon for him. The goal was to raised $25,000 to buy a vehicle that MacLaren could drive with his hands to give him some sense of independence. Who knew that one day this small charity would change the perception of what a disabled athlete could accomplish?

Since then, what has become the Challenged Athletes Foundation has raised over $53,000,000 to buy challenged athletes the adaptive equipment they need to stay in the game of life through sport. CAF has sent out more than 8,200 grants over the past 20 years.

On Sunday, Oct. 20, more than $2.7 million dollars was raised from CAF’s Million Dollar Challenge Bike Ride, the 24-Hour Fitness Tour de Cove spinathon and the Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge. Triathletes Scott Tinley, Chrissie Wellington, Meredith Kessler, Luke McKenzine, Luke Bell, Andy Potts, Tom Lowe and Matty Reed came out to offer support throughout for what is now called “The Best Day in Triathlon.”

Five of the people who lost limbs in the horrific bombings at the Boston Marathon last April participated in the amputee running clinic on Saturday and were given a huge ovation when introduced before the San Diego Triathlon Challenge on Sunday.

For more information on CAF, go to Challengedathletes.org