Leetsdale Ironman competing for a good cause
By Karen Kadilak
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:29 p.m.
For the fourth consecutive year, Leetsdale triathlete Jeremy Cornman will raise money for a local nonprofit while competing at the Ironman World Championship, to be held Oct.13 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Cornman, 33, and three other qualifiers are soliciting pledges from family, friends and businesses. Proceeds will go to Ballou Skies, which is devoted to raising awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a form that strikes boys.
Ty Ballou of Ben Avon founded the nonprofit several years ago in honor of his son, Ryan, 25, who was diagnosed with Duchenne when he was 5.
After raising money by himself in 2009, Cornman formed a team that holds fundraisers throughout the year. Over the past four years, Cornman and his teammates have raised $150,000, Ballou said.
Cornman said the team now has 16 members.
Joining Cornman at the Ironman World Championship will be his wife, Jocelyn, as well as Joe Vallese of Moon and Chad Holderbaum of Irwin.
Jocelyn Cornman, 33, will compete for the third consecutive year. Vallese, 42, and Holderbaum, 32, also have competed in the past.
The four will be among nearly 1,800 competitors who will run 26.2 miles, swim 2.4 miles and ride a bike for 112 miles, all in one day.
Jeremy Cornman finished last year in a personal-best 9 hours, 19 minutes and 39 seconds. The championship record is 8:03.56, set by an Australian last year.
“Your goal always is to finish (the championship),” Cornman said. “Helping Blue Skies gives you double incentive.”
The nonprofit provides bright blue uniforms that Ballou said were easy to spot when he and his son attended last year's championship, when six team members competed.
“You could clearly see all the athletes from start to finish,” Ballou said.
Cornman learned about the nonprofit while competing with Ballou on a masters swim team at the Sewickley YMCA.
“Ty approached me and asked whether I could help,” said Cornman, who has competed as a triathlete for 13 years. “I told him I would be honored to do so.”
“I'm half the athlete that Ty is,” Ballou said. “As phenomenal as he is, it's more phenomenal what he and his wife have done for the charity.”
Cornman and his teammates plan to leave for Hawaii on Saturday to acclimate themselves.
“We'll be tapering our training so we're rested,” he said. “It's a beautiful setting for a championship.
“We all love going there.”
The Ironman World Championship has been held annually in Hawaii since 1978.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers bring back long snapper Warren, lineman Wallace
- Surveillance cameras stop working after Pittsburgh fails to pay bill
- Penguins notebook: Letang skating, but no return set
- Orpik rises to occasion as Penguins take down Capitals once again
- Allegheny Co. DA criticizes Peduto administration over info released in E. Liberty murder case
- Panthers free agent safety headed to Steelers
- Fayette jury sentences man to death for fatal beating of 4-year-old boy
- 2 NYC buildings collapse in explosion; 2 dead
- Figure skating coach dies in crash at Washington County Airport
- Police charge Westmoreland County priest in $124,000 theft case
- Philadelphia senator accused of using state employees for campaign