Run, Walk, Scoot for Kodiak Special Olympics

special_olympics_officer_athlete_community_director.jpgLeft to right, Lieutenant DJ Clumpner, Brittany Tregarthen, and Dan Canavan. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

If you like running – or biking, skipping, or hopping – you can join the Alaska Law Enforcement Torch Run & Pledge Drive for Special Olympics Alaska on Saturday.

You can sponsor a participant, or be one yourself, and choose your own method of doing the 5k run. All proceeds go to support the Special Olympics athletes.

Dan Canavan is the volunteer community director for the Special Olympics Alaska Kodiak program. He says athletes take part in a wide variety of sports throughout the year, and he says Special Olympics offers the same sports you’d see in the Olympics itself.

In Kodiak, Canavan says the season depends on how many volunteers they have, but they try to offer at least two sports to choose from.

“We always have power lifting and a very strong team,” says Canavan. “We’re beginning to rebuild the unified basketball program and we’re rebuilding the swimming program this year. And in the fall we have golf and bachi, and then we have our bowling season.

And he says every two years, Special Olympics holds summer or winter world games. This year, the Kodiak branch will send power-lifter Brittany Tregarthen to Los Angeles for the summer World Games.

Canavan says it’s involved a lot of planning.

“It’s pretty exciting,” says Canavan. “She’s been at this – the preparation’s been a year, getting all of the team USA collectively together, ready, properly trained, and pumped for it, and they’ll have athletes from around the world.”

Canavan says Tregarthen will be going to Los Angeles in July for two weeks to compete. The athlete herself says power-lifting is her favorite sport and sure enough, she’s strong. She says recently she almost lifted 150 pounds.

And it took a lot of effort to get in shape.

“Starting eating healthier,” says Tregarthen. “And I start training, and I had to walk a lot.”
    
Canavan can testify to that hard work.

“She’s been at this for a solid year at least three days a week, plus the additional exercising, walking, and those kinds of things,” says Canavan. “So a lot of preparation, a lot of time and effort to get prepared for that level of competition.”
And Tregarthen, who is originally from Colorado, is excited about one more thing waiting for her in California.

“I am so glad, part of my family who lives part in Los Angeles – I have family up there who’s coming to see me lifting,” says Tregarthen.

You can help support Tregarthen and her fellow athletes at the Torch Run starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Wells Fargo Bank downtown. The route will go from the starting location, up Mill Bay, down to Bartel, and then to Rezanof back to Wells Fargo, where a barbecue will take place with help from the Kodiak Police Department.

Bring along your bikes, baby carriages, scooters, and any other wheels you’d like. Or just bring your feet.

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