For everyone tempted to call the triathlon a solitary sport, there’s an Ironman Foundation charity that begs to differ. Local triathlete, Julie Lehman-Smith, is passionate about Ironman races; however, she is even more passionate about using her training and race efforts to assist those in need.
Lehman-Smith signed up for the upcoming Ironman Arizona and committed to fundraise for the Smile Train charity. Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children with clefts around the world live in isolation, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate.
Lehman-Smith says, “I’ve competed in a few Ironman races in the past; however, I wanted to give back in some way since this sport can appear to be very selfish with training time, travel fees, special equipment, etc. By raising the money for Smile Train, it’s actually giving me a whole new reason to race. Many children who don’t have the resources or money for these surgeries will benefit from the little amount that I raise.”
There’s still plenty of time to donate. Julie has successfully raised some money, but the need is still very great, and she is continually reaching out to the Pacific Northwest Ironman community for their support. If you’re a triathlete, and you can help, please connect with the link below. Working together, we can change the world one smile at a time.