Waukee YMCA hosts Pieathlon
Here they come! First they swam, then cycled and now are rounding the three-mile mark toward the finish line…right to the pie. Yes, not just the sweet personal victory at the finish but all-American dessert usually found wafting sumptuously in grandma’s kitchen, not at the Waukee Family YMCA. Triathlon plus pie equals a delicious active event this spring for a cause: the 2015 YMCA Pieathlon.
Dave Milburn founded the Pieathlon as a way of celebrating his wife, Penny, fighting a strong battle against cancer. Elements of both fitness, relationships and tradition are tied together in the event. Avid RAGBRAI riders, the couple would toast to a ride well rode by eating delicious pie with their fellow cycling friends. These friends proved one of the strongest support systems throughout Penny’s persistence and positivity after being diagnosed with cancer.
Eric Kress, executive director of the Waukee Family YMCA, said that this is seen as a beginner level tri due to the shorter distances for each part of the race and the indoor swim—400-meter swim in Waukee YMCA’s Charlotte Broderick Natatorium, 12-mile bike ride and three-mile run. This year the event is also hosting a youth triathlon featuring a 200-meter swim, five-mile bike route and one-mile run.
“Everyone who is part of the Y community benefits—especially, those that have found that a healthy lifestyle and meaningful relationships found at the Y have helped them endure through a difficult circumstance, like cancer,” Kress said.
Jayme Marquardt and her family have experience the truth in that statement this year. Just after ringing in the brand new year, on January 6 Jayme’s husband Jason was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma after months of illness and a brief period of hospitalization. On top of this news, Jayme was at 34 weeks pregnant and at high-risk.
Between the multitudinous doctors appointments and taking care of each other, it was Jayme and Jason’s goal to keep their children’s lives as stress free as possible. Bailey, age 12, and Jase, age 6, are highly engaged with the Waukee Rays Swim Team.
“Some people could not understand why we continued to worry about getting Bailey and Jase to their swim practices each night and swim meets on the weekends, but swimming was a stress reliever for them!” Jayme said. “They needed to get out of the house and it was fun for them to be with their coaches and friends; it kept them healthy and gave them consistency in a very uncertain time.”
She added that during this difficult time the family had to accept they could not continue with regularity alone.
“Consequently, the members and staff of the Waukee YMCA and Healthy Living Center have amazed us with their generosity; they have been a huge part of our support system,” Jayme said.
Meals, donations, transpiration assistance, childcare and prayers have been offered to and appreciated by the family.
“Being the recipient of so much love has definitely been the silver lining in this situation; the YMCA is a wonderful organization and our story is just one example of how they put their values into action.”
This year proceeds from the Pieathlon will be directed toward scholarships, including Bailey and Jase to continue swim team participation.
Jason is currently continuing with chemotherapy and the family has a newborn baby girl growing quickly.
Jayme said, “This has definitely been one of the most difficult times in our lives but we are doing OK…and we can only say this because of the help and support that we have received. The YMCA has been a huge part of this and we are truly grateful!”