Over 300 people participated in the 14th Annual Bike-A-Thon held Feb. 20 at the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA, benefiting the Y’s outreach for children, families and seniors in the North County Coastal Community.
This year’s emcee for the first half of the event was Paratriathlete, Amy Dixon, a U.S. National Team member ranked#2 in the U.S. and #6 in the world as a visually impaired triathlete. Dixon began to lose her sight at the age of 22 and is now left with only 2 percent of her vision. Feeling the effects of many medications, Dixon turned to her local YMCA in Connecticut to lose weight.
Flash forward only six months and Dixon became the first female visually-impaired triathlete in CT, putting down a time so fast, she qualified for the USA Paratriathlon National Championships in her very first race. She is staying in Carlsbad with her triathlon guide, 2015 Ironman All-World Champion/#1 female for her age category, Susanne Davis. They hope to be competing in the Rio 2016 Olympics this summer.
YMCA Board of Management member Kathryn Rooney rode for the entirety of the event, eight hours. Her friend Dan Dinsmore, active duty marine Skyped in while cycling in Seattle in support of Katie and the YMCA.
The Bike-A-Thon was held to raise funds to further the Y’s mission and provide a Y experience to all people of the community, regardless of their ability to pay. The Y does not close its doors to anyone who wants access to a healthier and happier life and offers financial assistance to those who otherwise could not afford to participate in Y membership and programs.
Last year, over 3,000 individuals were given a scholarship to the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA to learn the life-saving skill of swimming, make friends, stay active in the senior stage of life, develop healthier habits and so much more.