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A Span­ish Fork fa­ther and daugh­ter are pre­par­ing to com­pete at Iron­man Texas on May 16 of this year. The Iron­man is a triathlon that con­sists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. All three events must be com­pleted within a 17-hour time limit. As if the race it­self were not chal­leng­ing enough, Dave Hey­wood and his daugh­ter, Gabrielle, have taken on the ex­tra di­men­sion of rais­ing funds through their ef­forts. They are hop­ing to raise at least $10,000 for Save The Chil­dren, a well-known or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides ed­u­ca­tion, med­i­cal treat­ment, food, shel­ter and other needs for at-risk chil­dren in over 120 coun­tries around the world, in­clud­ing the United States.

“Triathlon can be a self­ish en­deavor,” said Dave Hey­wood. “We wanted our time spent train­ing to mean some­thing more than just time fo­cused on our­selves and our fit­ness.” Hey­wood es­ti­mates that the train­ing plan he and Gabrielle are fol­low­ing will cause them to cover well over 1,000 miles each as they swim, bike and run to­ward their goal.

Gabrielle said, “I’m go­ing to grad­u­ate from high school this spring, but I’ve had this feel­ing I want to do some­thing big­ger that just grad­u­ate. When my dad told me that Iron­man Texas was two weeks be­fore my grad­u­a­tion, I thought it was the per­fect thing. Then when he told me we could use our train­ing to raise funds for Save The Chil­dren, I was sold. We are invit­ing peo­ple to match our miles with money. If some­one were to do­nate one penny for each of the miles in our com­bined train­ing plan, that would be a $20 do­na­tion. A dime per mile would be a $200 dollar do­na­tion. Any size do­na­tion re­ally helps.”

Fundrais­ing isn’t al­ways a part of the train­ing for races like this, but for the Hey­woods it has be­come in­te­gral to their ef­forts and in­creases their mo­ti­va­tion. Gabrielle said, “Some­times my dad and I have to get up at 4:15 in the morn­ing to get to the gym for an in­door bike ride or a swim. That’s not easy, but when I think of lit­tle chil­dren around the world we are help­ing with our fundrais­ing, it mo­ti­vates me and I get out of bed.”

“I’m re­ally proud of Gabrielle,” Hey­wood said. “She is ded­i­cated to mak­ing this hap­pen, for her­self and for the chil­dren. There are not a lot of teenagers who would make this kind of sac­ri­fice.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the race and the fundrais­ing ef­fort, search Face­book us­ing the hash­tag #we­trainkids­gain or search for the video en­ti­tled “Sav­ing Lives Through Triathlon.”

Reed Hey­wood

Gabrielle and Dave Hey­wood of Span­ish Fork are rais­ing money for at-risk chil­dren while train­ing for a triathlon in May.

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