. (September 27, 2022) – The IRONMAN Foundation’s diversity initiative Race For Change™
continues to build awareness and expand outreach with the formation of four relay teams comprised of 12 Black athletes who will compete in the 2022 St. Jude IRONMAN® 70.3® Memphis triathlon taking place on Saturday, October 1, 2022.
The goal of the relay teams is to garner support for the Race For Change
diversity initiative and inspire more athletes of color to participate in the world's most popular endurance sport, triathlon. Individuals affiliated with Black Kids Swim, Major Taylor International Cycling Alliance and Black Runners Connection will make up the teams.
"We are thrilled to welcome the Race For Change
relay team competing this year at the St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis race," said Audra Tassone-Indeck, Executive Director of The IRONMAN Foundation. "The IRONMAN Foundation is proud to support these athletes and hope they will inspire others from diverse communities to get involved in the sport of triathlon."
In addition to welcoming diverse groups to the sport, The IRONMAN Foundation will distribute more than $15,000 in charitable giveback to nonprofit initiatives and groups in the Memphis region in conjunction with the 2022 St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon. This year's grant funding brings The IRONMAN Foundation’s total historical giveback to more than $70,000 in the region since inception.
Race For Change
In 2020, with the mission to ensure equity for athletes in the sport of triathlon and the communities where IRONMAN athletes and first-time hopefuls live, train, and race, Race For Change
was launched by The IRONMAN Foundation and The IRONMAN Group with an initial pledge of $1 million to support programming.
The 12 athletes participating on The IRONMAN Foundation’s Race For Change relay teams are:
- “Race For Change Team 1”: Christopher Hasfal of New York, N.Y., Jacqueline Holmes of Jackson, Tenn., and Jason Gibson of Washington, DC.
- “Race For Change Team 2”: Dereka Hendon of New York, N.Y., Brittany Wade of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Pepper Totten of Arlington, Tenn.
- “Race For Change Team 3”: Yolanda Butler of Marlboro, Md., Aaron Jackson of San Antonio, Texas, and Kendrick Miles of Charlotte, N.C.
- “Race For Change Team 4”: Yvonne Spencer of Brooklyn, N.Y., Tamika Jackson of San Antonio, Texas, and Natalie Davis of Moreno Valley, Calif.
“I am honored and thrilled that the Race For Change Relay Teams will compete in Memphis,” said Sika Henry, the USA's first Black female professional triathlete and The IRONMAN Foundation Race For Change
Ambassador. “These athletes are excellent representatives for The IRONMAN Foundation’s diversity initiative, and they’ll remember this event for the rest of their lives. I’m incredibly proud of them!”
Each relay team member will conquer one part of the triathlon event consisting of a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, and 13.1-mile run. For live tracking, real-time results and instant tracking notifications, fans can follow the Race For Change relay teams on the IRONMAN Tracker app, available for download from iTunes App Store
and Google Play
For more information on The IRONMAN Foundation and its programs, including Race For Change, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org
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About IRONMAN DE&I Efforts
IRONMAN® has and continues to provide a welcoming platform and environment for all, becoming synonymous with monumental achievement by athletes from around the world, proving that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE®. Over IRONMAN's 40-plus-year history, the brand and its series of events have worked with and celebrated athletes of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, from all races, religions, nationalities, and sexual orientations. Since the very first years, IRONMAN has represented breaking barriers and redefining what is possible. This legacy continues as athletes and the greater IRONMAN community have utilized the platform as a vehicle to challenge and redefine society views. The very first trailblazing Special Team of Dick and Rick Hoyt racing alongside other athletes was a pinnacle moment for what was to come. Their determination and fortitude has continued with athletes like John MacLean, Jim MacLaren, David Bailey, Carlos Moleda, Jim Howley, Scott Rigsby, Sarah Reinertsen, Rudy Tolson-Garcia, Ricky James, Turia Pitt, Minda Dentler, Team Agar, the Pease Brothers, Alex Zanardi, Rajesh Durbal, Team Liza, Lauren Parker, Roderick Sewell, and most recently Chris Nikic and Sam Holness, among so many others. These athletes and their achievements through IRONMAN have established nonprofits and long-standing partnerships like the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which continues to do incredible work. The vastness of the athlete community, partners, and the openness that exists with its events is what makes IRONMAN special and is core to what the brand represents. Continuing the belief and importance of inclusivity, IRONMAN is committed to Women For Tri and Race For Change while working on additional avenues to further increase diversity, equity, and inclusion.
About The IRONMAN Foundation
The IRONMAN Foundation creates positive, tangible change in race communities by engaging athletes and volunteers to participate in programs that demonstrate service through sport and commitment to the community. Since 2003, over $55,000,000 has been provided through giveback programs led by The IRONMAN Foundation to more than 10,000 local, regional, national, and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN and Rock' n' Roll Running Series participants are powerfully linked to the community and together help leave a positive legacy behind in race communities long after event day. For more information on IRONMAN Foundation programs, including Team IMF, Community Fund, Rock This Town®, Your Journey Your Cause®, and Race For Change™, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org
About The IRONMAN Group
The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and City2Surf®, UTMB® World Series events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, Epic Series™ mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events including Haute Route®, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Catering to the full athlete experience, the company portfolio also includes FulGaz® virtual cycling, the most realistic indoor riding experience connected fitness application aimed at preparing athletes for real-world events. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group
Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 17,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Warner Bros. Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com