Austin Tri-Cyclist Blog

Monday, June 13, 2011

Upcoming Race: Tri from the Heart
August 7, 2011

Deep in the heart of Texas, or rather, right in the state’s geographic center, sits the small town of Brady, population around 5,000. Home to traditions like the July Jubilee and 38th Annual Goat Cook-Off, Brady is adding a new type of event to its calendar this year, the first Tri from the Heart Triathlon.

A 1k swim, 35k bike, and 7k run, the race will take place at Brady Lake and surrounding park grounds on Sunday, August 7, with individual and relay categories. Race director Heath McBride says he designed the course with both the competitor and spectator in mind: From the transition area, the entire swim course is viewable, as well as most of the run course, which goes out over Brady Lake Dam, follows a lollypop on the other side of the lake, and takes in two short climbs before returning. The bike course is a rolling out and back, crossing through scenic ranch land.

Tri from the Heart will benefit local charity Hope from the Heart, an organization that raises money to help people fighting cancer in McCulloch County, with funds distributed by the Brady Clergy Association. In addition to medical costs, Hope from the Heart assists cancer patients in meeting many day-to-day and essential expenses not covered by other charities, including costs like fuel and wigs. Last year they raised more than $70,000 from local contributions, which McBride says directly helped to extend the lives of 16 people in the community.

When McBride’s brother died of cancer in 2001, the disease took on a personal meaning for him. So in 2010, asked to participate in one of Hope from the Heart’s largest fundraisers, “Mr. Heart of Texas,” he raised money by swimming, running, and biking 500 miles in 20 days, recording his experience in a daily blog. “I know this isn’t a huge block by tri standards,” McBride says, “but it was a goal and one that most people could comprehend and appreciate.” Triathlon has been his hobby for 13 years, though he modestly describes himself as a middle-of-the-pack age grouper who simply loves the sport.

McBride says that the most encouraging aspect of organizing the race has been the energy and enthusiasm of the townspeople. A large number of volunteers have signed up (currently, they outnumber registered competitors), which promises first-class race support. And there has been a new surge of interest in fitness and triathlon in the community as well, he says, with many locals training in anticipation of their first multi-sport event.

Brady is only 130 miles from Austin, 140 miles from San Antonio, and 75 miles from San Angelo, so pack up your goggles and quick laces this August and make a trip to Texas’ warm and welcoming center. The Brady Rotary Club will host a pre-race spaghetti dinner also benefiting Hope from the Heart (plates $10, details will be included in packet pickup and on the website), and race entry will include a T-shirt and other fun extras. Whether you’re a seasoned triathlete or just getting started, we encourage you to sign up and show this small, caring town a big turnout.

Register online: $75 individual, $115 relay (chip timed & USAT sanctioned)

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