A Fort Lee athlete who competed in the Ironman U.S. Championship in August is hosting a post-triathlon party Friday evening he’s calling “Party Like An Ironman,” a celebration benefitting Athletes to End Alzheimer’s, a chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and his sponsor for the race, as well as programming for seniors at the Richard A. Nest Senior Citizens Center in Fort Lee.
Max Almenas, a Fort Lee journalist and co-founder of the website TriTrekker.com, said the party is also intended to thank the many volunteers, vendors, athletes, government officials, emergency personnel and event organizers involved in the first-ever Ironman U.S. Championship (IMNY) held in Fort Lee, parts of Bergen and Rockland Counties and New York City on Aug. 11.
Almenas said he wanted to find a way to thank “everyone who participated in any capacity.”
“Especially the volunteers, because without an army of volunteers you can’t pull off an Ironman, let alone any triathlon,” he said. “But there were also government officials that played a part in making this happen. There were the emergency services, whether it was the firemen or the police; there are so many different components.”
Almenas pointed out that while everybody involved worked to make the Ironman “a memorable event,” everyone was working independently prior to and even during the triathlon, and that Friday night’s party is therefore also an opportunity to bring them all together under one roof, share stories and talk about what the experience was like.
Almenas described fundraising prior to the Ironman as a “huge education” for him being new to the sport; he agreed to raise $2,500 for the Athletes to End Alzheimer’s team, for example, and in return, the organization guaranteed his entry into the race. But Almenas fell slightly short of his fundraising goal.
“A lot of people are starting to get into the sport; it’s a fast-growing sport,” Almenas said. “And unless you’re one of the lucky people that buys a ticket within the first five or 10 minutes that it goes live, you end up having to get into the race by raising money for some of the charities. And so you go from a $600 to $800 ticket to having to raise $2,500 and up—way up.”
His advice to aspiring triathletes is pretty straightforward: start early.
“Don’t wait until a month or two before the event to start raising money,” he said. “Start raising money right away because it really does take time.”
But Almenas is not using the fundraiser simply as a way to make up the difference. He’s donating a portion of the proceeds to the Fort Lee Senior Center, thus making it as much of a local event as possible.
Complimentary hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, a DJ and live music will highlight the festivities, including a performance by Fort Lee's own classical duet Shyps and Roses.
There will also be raffles, including the following items, among others:
- A free spa package from Salon 5 in Fort Lee, including massage, facial, hair styling and a basket full of hair and skin products
- A triathlon suit from Strictly Bikes/Benzel Busch
- A t-shirt signed by legendary cyclist Eddy Merckx, who won the Tour De France five times in addition to other championships and is considered by many to be the greatest professional cyclist of all time, according to Almenas
- A 30-second business commercial produced by TriTrekker.com
- Business cards by www.PostCardsRus.com
The “Party Like An Ironman” fundraiser is Friday, Oct. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Assembly Steak House at 495 Sylvan Ave. in Englewood Cliffs.
If you cannot attend Friday evening’s event, Almenas is also accepting donations online.