Wednesday, September 4, 2013

PHA Staffer Dedicates Triathlon to Race of Our Lives

from Roni Rivera

Starting this month, PHA is asking our PH community to join Team PHenomenal Hope in the Race of Our Lives campaign. I’m Roni Rivera, and as a member of the PHA Special Events Department staff, I am involved daily in asking folks to gather friends and family to cross miles together in solidarity with the team’s cycling journey across the U.S. And I am turning my participation in a fall triathlon into a Unity Miles event.

I’ve decided to do this because I am moved by Team PHenomenal Hope’s courageous goal and dedication to raising awareness and funds for the PH community and by the spirit PHA is bringing to the Race of Our Lives campaign. I share a passion for endurance sporting events with Dr. Patty George, the PH physician leading Team PHenomenal Hope. After biking and talking with Patty (pictured on right) during a visit to Pittsburgh this month, I did not want to miss the opportunity to be a part of this special initiative. PHA is encouraging people to show solidarity by crossing miles any way they like – walking, rolling, running or even virtually.

On Sept. 29, I will be racing in a Half IronMan triathlon in Augusta, Ga. The course covers 70.3 miles -- a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and 13-mile run. Like Team PHenomenal Hope, I will race in honor and memory of pulmonary hypertension patients while spreading awareness of this disease. I will share my journey with friends and family and will wear PHA apparel when I compete. I know that being a part of this campaign and feeling the solidarity of this community will carry me through this race with a unique energy.

If my efforts motivate you to donate to the campaign, I encourage you to purchase a mile through the Sponsor a Mile campaign. If you purchase a mile in honor or in memory of someone, please email me at to let me know. I will keep a list of every supporter’s name and carry it with me along the 70.3-mile triathlon course on Sept. 29. I will be purchasing a mile myself as well, in honor of my friend and coworker, Josh Griffis. His courage and fight in the face of PH inspires me.

I invite you to follow my training and journey on Facebook.

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