Jefferson triathlete starts organization to fund research
Jefferson’s Denise Novicki is both a triathlete and the daughter of someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
So when it came to organizing an event to draw awareness and raise funding for research, triathlons were a natural fit.
“I love them,” said Novicki, whose father has Alzheimer’s disease. “It’s one of my passions … This is blending the two, the passion for triathlons and the love for my dad.”
The Tri2 Remember Triathlon is Sunday, July 18, at 7:30 a.m. at Crow’s Lake near Jefferson.
Novicki, whose father was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s seven years ago, founded the Tri2 Remember organization three years ago to raise money through triathlons.
Though the group has hosted triathlons before, this is the first Tri2 Remember event in Jackson County. It will not only raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association, but for the new “2 Remember” Foundation as well. That group is dedicated to research for early onset Alzheimer’s.
The hope is that the Jackson County Tri2 Remember triathlon will generate between $10,000-$15,000. The goal is to make this an annual event, similar to the Gainesville Tri2 Remember Triathlon, which draws around 500-600 participants.
“We plan to have it for years to come,” Novicki said.
About 250 participants have already signed up for the Jackson County triathlon. Novicki said registration has intensified the past couple of weeks.
“They’re really excited,” Novicki said. “They want to lock arms with Tri2 Remember.”
Participants will swim 500 meters (a point-to-point swim), bike 15 miles and run 3.1 miles. These relatively short distances and the point-to-point swim make this a favorable event for someone attempting their first triathlon.
“I think it will be a fun event,” Novicki said.
Based on registration, the triathlon has drawn considerable support from local triathletes, while 80 to 90 local volunteers have offered their services.
Novicki, who has participated in triathlons for six years, also noted the importance of securing a local venue to hold the event — Crow’s Lake, which is a private lake owned by Tom Crow.
“He was very kind to let us come in,” Novicki said.
Novicki relocated to Jefferson four years ago specifically to live next door to her father and help care for him in his fight against Alzheimer’s.
That’s part of the inspiration of bringing the triathlon to Jackson County.
“I felt it would be special in our new home,” she said.
Fees are $70 for USA Triathlon members and $80 for non-members. The cost is $110 for relay teams. After July 12, the individual rates will increase to $100 and $110 respectively. Online registration also closes on that date. For more information, go to www.active.com/triathlon/jefferson-ga/tri2remember-sprint-triathlon-2010.