Special needs athletes participate in Goody Triathlon

Local middle school students enjoy triathlon in Pulaski

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Goody Triathlon athletes opened the event by swimming at Pulaski Community Middle School on Monday.

Over 100 middle school students from 10 local school districts competed in the eighth annual Goody Triathlon on Monday.

The 10 school districts that were involved in the triathlon were Ashwaubenon, Bonduel, Freedom, Green Bay, Howard-Suamico, Kaukauna, Menominee Indian, Pulaski, Shawano and Southern Door.

The athletes started at Pulaski Community Middle School, where they opened the triathlon swimming in the pool. The event then shifted outside, where the students hopped on bikes under near-perfect weather conditions. The final portion of the triathlon saw the athletes run or walk to the finish line at Pulaski High School’s Saputo Stadium.

Each athlete was paired with at least one peer mentor, who helped guide the athletes through the three events. While the mentors were ready to provide whatever help they could, they often would also be exhausted from the 5K/10K triathlon.

Upon crossing the finish line, the athletes were awarded a medal before being showered with hugs and high-fives from family, friends and event staff.

Kare Goodness, the race’s director, said that the triathlon is often the highlight of the year for competing athletes.

“They look forward to this event in the spring,” Goodness said. “They train hard for nine weeks to get ready for this. It’s really neat to see the kids be successful and have great races.”

A handful of students from Shawano Community Middle School competed in the event. One of those athletes was Myles Stilwell, who had a handful of supporters in Pulaski cheering him on.

As Stilwell neared the finish line, Pulaski middle schoolers cheered him on. Like other athletes, Stilwell stretched out his hand to give out high-fives, putting an exclamation mark on a memorable day.

“It was fun,” Stilwell, who also said having his mom and others cheering him on was his favorite part of the event, said.

Plenty of help was on hand to help the event run smoothly.

“It is a true community event,” Goodness said. “We’ve got the police and state troopers helping us out, along with the participating schools and local businesses all contributing to help fund this event. It’s really neat to see all the networking all for the benefit of the kids.”