The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
666 Broadway, 8th Floor
New York New York 10012
800-221-4602
info@ndss.org 

Claire's Triathlon
The Finish! Go Claire! 50 m swim, 1.5 mile bike, 1 K run
The Finish! Go Claire! 50 m swim, 1.5 mile bike, 1 K run
Claire's Triathlon

Claire's triathlon story begins this spring when she was invited to attend an Easter social for special needs families at the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, LA. While at the social, we came upon a booth which had a pamphlet for an annual bike riding camp called "Lose the Training Wheels." I was hesitant about signing up Claire because she showed no interest in attending a camp to learn to ride a bike. Many years ago, she did try to learn to ride a bike. Like most children with special needs, she only rode with training wheels. The years came and went as did her desire to want to ride a two wheel bike. Claire is 20 years old. Why ride a bike? How about drive a car, listen to cool music, talk on her cell phone, or text her friends. My purpose for Claire to attend this camp was for her to try new challenges. I thought her lack of interest and fear might hold her back. Hoping she would get past the fear, the experience would instill a sense of accomplishment and build self confidence. According to Claire, the first day of her camp was tough. She was tired because she had to pedal 75 minutes on modified bikes with rollers. By Thursday, she was riding on her own. On Friday, she begged me to buy her a bike! 20 years of emotions ran through me. Failure was not an option for her any more! She did it. She tried something new and succeeded! Susan Hayden, founder of Rocketkidz foundation, happened to see the "homemade" video of her bike camp on facebook (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtFhVcpqWKk). Knowing Claire could swim, she invited Claire to participate in the annual Rocketkidz Triathlon held at Louisiana State University on 7-31-2011. In late June Claire began to train for the event by swimming two to three times a week, bike riding three to four times a week and attending circuit training fitness classes a twice a week. We invited many of our family and friends to come a cheer her along for her special day. Claire was blessed to have three shadows, people who assist race participants. Their energy and encouragement motivated Claire to succeed and finish her race! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlFamIvAh5I) That evening friends and family celebrated her achievement with a "congratulations" cake. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the wonderful blessings (fellowship, family, support, and love) this day would bring. By her expression and outward interactions, she appeared to feel that sense of pride that comes with conquering your fears! Claire experienced a sense of accomplishment that will carry her to a new level of life achievements. Praise God for this day! Way to Go Claire: 50 meter swim, 1.5 mile bike ride, 1K run - Time 33:18. '




Vote for your favorite story! Each month, the two stories with the most votes will be featured in the NDSS E-Newsletter.*

Email:        


Your email address will be used for voter tracking only, and will not be used for future NDSS emails.
Click here to become a fan on Facebook.
Click here to follow us on Twitter.

*Votes will be reset at the end of each month.



Full Name
Email
Country
State
Comments (1,000 character limit)



Jennifer, United States, LA
8/31/2011 10:46:13 PM
Claire is the best because she comes from the best....family that is!

Mary Green, United States, LA
8/31/2011 9:55:17 AM
I have always thought that Claire was extraordinary and awesome! She proves it once again! We think of your family often and miss all of you! Congratulations! From Jennings with love!

Jill Wood, United States, AR
8/31/2011 8:59:51 AM
Way to go Claire!

Dawn Spahr, United States, LA
8/31/2011 3:34:12 AM
Congratulations, Claire!! Great work and determination, Love Dawn & Billy!

Bonnie Carrig, United States, ID
8/31/2011 12:04:29 AM
Hi Claire: It's an inspiration to us to see how hard you work and achieve your goals. Keep up the good work, we're cheering for you! You geaux girl :) With Blessings! Bonnie and Richard Carrig

Jean Langlois, United States, LA
8/30/2011 10:41:51 PM
Great Job Claire. Good Luck. Lots of Love

Stephanie Cook, United States, LA
8/30/2011 10:02:18 PM
Way to go, Claire! I saw Niki post about this on FB, so I wanted to vote.

Paulette Doiron, United States, LA
8/28/2011 5:20:28 PM
I am amazed by all of her achievements, and I got goose bumps when I saw the joy and sense of accomplishment in her face.

Karen B. Martin, United States, LA
8/24/2011 10:59:48 AM
Claire is the greatest. Her achievements are inspirational.

Betty Cortez, United States, TX
8/17/2011 4:30:47 PM
Congratulations, Claire! Winners are those among us who show courage despite their fears. You inspire us all.

Anne Hughs, United States, LA
8/16/2011 1:10:02 PM
Way to go Claire! you are such an inspiration. We miss you and Di!

Kathy Gamble, United States, TX
8/15/2011 7:03:44 PM
Beautiful! Congratulations on a terrific accomplishment! I just had the privilege of volunteering at Lose the Training Wheels in Dallas. Amazing what a rider can do once learning to ride independently! Hope everyone gets to volunteer at least once!

Karen, United States, LA
8/15/2011 1:47:38 PM
She is very inspiring!

Anne McKernan, United States, PA
8/15/2011 7:30:48 AM
Great job Claire! My son just learned to ride at bike last week at Lose the Training Wheels and I hope he can accomplish as many wonderful things as you have!

Matt Hampton, United States, KS
8/15/2011 12:22:31 AM
Great job Claire! I'm so proud of you!

Steven M. Sabatier, United States, AZ
8/14/2011 8:29:55 PM
Way to go Claire. Thanks for sharing your Triathlon story. AWESOME! Love you!

Cheryl Causey, United States, LA
8/14/2011 6:47:59 PM
Congratulations & keep pedaling Claire! Mr. Boyd & I are so proud of you! Some of our best memories of-2011 include seeing you learn to ride a bike, hearing you tell your Mom you want your own new bike, seeing you ride your bike on Nicholson Dr. during the summer

Doug Sabatier, United States, LA
8/13/2011 4:15:02 PM
Move over Michael J., Hanna M., and Justin B., Claire needs room to run, bike and swim.

Nicole Miller, United States, LA
8/13/2011 1:40:42 PM
Congratulations Claire!!! Seeing you participate & finish a triathalon made me very proud. Now you know that nothing will stand in your way. When you make up your mind to do it you can accomplish anything. Girl Power!!!

Gayle Lavigne, United States, TX
8/13/2011 12:35:28 PM
Claire I\'m so proud of you. What a lovely story your mom wrote about your accomplishments. Claire, you are so loved by so many and I miss you so much. I think about you all the time , and the great times we shared. Keep up that spirit. Mr. T and Gayle

Jerry Porterfield, United States, MS
8/12/2011 12:26:12 PM
What an accomplishment - mentally and physically! Congrats to you and to all your friends & family for their support!

Karen Doll, United States, LA
8/11/2011 11:25:25 PM
Congratulations, Claire!

Kathy Harmon, United States, LA
8/11/2011 6:32:12 PM
What an inspiration. My son is 9 12, non-verbal but so much smarter than he can communicate. He is scared to death to ride a bike with training wheels. I must not give up.

susan sparks, United States, OH
8/11/2011 6:14:58 PM
all new adventures are hard but in the end are always fun. congratulations you are inspiring to all.

Jeanne Gros, United States, LA
8/11/2011 5:32:50 PM
Inspiring!!!

Tammy Dodd, United States, LA
8/11/2011 2:11:50 PM
GEAUX CLAIRE!!!!!! Awesome accomplishment!!

Judy Cramer, United States, TX
8/11/2011 1:26:51 PM
Way to go Claire! Congratulations! A fan from Texas!

P Blankenbaker, United States, LA
8/11/2011 12:48:16 PM
What a touching story of courage and determination.

Susie Tyler, United States, LA
8/11/2011 12:39:16 PM
Congratulations Claire!!

Nicole Halmark, United States, GA
8/11/2011 11:44:04 AM
Way to go Claire. I too have a special needs daughter. After a horrible accident that left almost dead she recovered by the grace of God and her determination. She did her first 5k less than 6 months of being completely bedridden with a crushed pelvis and

Laurel and Rachel (St. John), United States, LA
8/11/2011 10:43:33 AM
Claire we couldn't be more proud and happy for your accomplishment! You are an inspiration to us all!

Linzy Liuzza , United States, VA
8/11/2011 9:50:00 AM
My dearest triathlon Rosebud, You are so very beautiful! You and Jesus never cease to amaze us! The sky is the limit... GO TRI-GIRL GO!!! Love forever... Uncle Joseph and Aunt Linzy

Laurie McKnight , United States, LA
8/10/2011 10:23:20 PM
Wow what an amazing story! It brought both Cheers and Tears to my eyes and my heart :) so very proud of your success. Love , laurie McKnight

Ann Walton, United States, LA
8/10/2011 10:22:09 PM
I have watched Claire over the years swim and circuit training. She swims and does circuit training with normal kids. She isn't able to keep up with them, but she is persistant and keeps going. Completing this triathalon is a great accomplishment for anyone!

Jayme, United States, LA
8/10/2011 9:45:13 PM
I was one of the three shadows and I could not have been prouder of Claire. She not only gave 110% effort the entire way, but she did it with a HUGE smile on her face! She made it look easy; and competing in a triathlon is no easy feat! Claire is a true inspiration

Lindsay Powell, United States, LA
8/10/2011 9:32:44 PM
Wow! What a fantastic story. Congratulations Claire! Although, I'm not surprised that your such a dedicated individual with the mom that you have. You are both an inspiration. Reach for the stars!

Angelle Bourgeois, United States, LA
8/10/2011 8:34:42 PM
What an accomplishment, Claire! You are a blessing and inspiration to many!! Way to go!!

Jesse Sabatier, United States, LA
8/10/2011 7:00:43 PM
Well Claire, I am happy for you !!! For me its no surprise you finished so well, because I know you know, "a sister's gotta do what a sister gotta do." Congratulations Sister!!!

Michelle Fisher, United States, LA
8/10/2011 6:21:21 PM
What a wonderful, uplifting story. Congratulations Claire!!

Hope Boutte, United States, LA
8/10/2011 5:06:31 PM
Claire is an inspiration!

Jennifer Shiver, United States, LA
8/10/2011 4:57:03 PM
I love you Claire!! Way to go girl!!! YOU ROCK!!

Sophie Graves, United States, LA
8/10/2011 4:07:48 PM
Claire is truly a ray of sunshine. I am so blessed to have her in my life and am beyond proud of her accomplishments!

Nan Fontenot, United States, LA
8/10/2011 4:06:45 PM
Inspiration story - way to go Claire and Diane! What an inspiration to many! So proud of you! Coach Nan

Leslie Holtzman, United States, CA
8/10/2011 3:43:47 PM
Geaux Sista Soul! I love you!

Lee Stall, United States, LA
8/10/2011 3:42:28 PM
Way to go Claire and way to go mom Diane. We here at NOLTC are proud of both of you. Hopefully, one day you will both join your family here again. We look forward to having you on our team again. Lee

Lara Ellis, United States, LA
8/10/2011 3:39:49 PM
GOOO CLAIRE!!!!!! That is a beautiful story... You have an amazing Mama.... how GOD has blessed you both!!!! I am so proud to know you...

Kelly Leleux , United States, LA
8/10/2011 3:17:29 PM
Claire, your story touched me deeply. I am so proud of your drive and accomplishments! Keep it up! Miss you tons! I love you so much! Kel

Stephanie Santini, United States, LA
8/10/2011 2:13:06 PM
Claire, you are so beautiful.... you go girl!!! Love you! Stephanie

susan edwards, United States, OK
8/10/2011 11:38:13 AM
Thanks for inspiring me to reach higher, dig deeper and love more richly. Way to go Claire - you're the best!! love, Aunt Susan

Gary & Mary Hall, United States, FL
8/10/2011 11:34:53 AM
Congrats Claire from The Race Club!! You are truly an inspiration!!!

JEANNE DEVALCOURT, United States, LA
8/10/2011 11:24:28 AM
THANK YOU CLAIRE FOR SHARING YOUR WONDERFUL STORY. YOU GO GIRL. I LOVE YOU, MS JEANNE

  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • My Great Story