Experienced triathletes, Special Olympic athletes -- including three from Payson- families and volunteers will unite in the inaugural Swim, Bike, Run and Special Olympics Unified Triathlon.
The event kicks off at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow, Aug. 16 at the DC Ranch Village Health Club and Spa in Scottsdale.
SO athletes entered from Payson are Gary Bonn, John Sexton and David Frohme. On the unified teams with them will be George Karrys, R.D. Nielsen and Chad Torgenson.
Northern Gila County SO coordinator Becky Derwort said the athletes entered the triathlon on their own without much urging from her, "I am very proud of them for doing that."
The SO Unified Triathlon will include the traditional sprint events, which are a 300-yard swim, 20K bike and 5K run.
This event will be unusual, however, because it will include a special modified course for SO athletes, families and friends.
The modified course includes a .5-mile run, 2.5-mile bike and a 50-yard swim.
SO athletes from around the state are expected to participate in the triathlon.
For Payson, Bonn, Sexton and Frohme are among the local program's most experienced and successful athletes.
In fact, Frohme is featured on a first-ever SO Arizona promotional DVD that was released last year during ceremonies at the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix.
One of the segments included an interview with him. Local SO coach Ruby Lane said Frohme, "spoke amazing words of inspiration."
Frohme's speech can be heard at: http://www.specialolympicsarizona.org/athletes/athlete_spotlight_on_ DavidFrohme.asp.
Frohme has been competing on Payson SO teams for the past two decades, and in 1999 he traveled to the SO World Games in North Carolina.
Organizers say the traditional sprint triathlon will draw some of Arizona's finest athletes.
All will be competing to raise money for Special Olympics.
In the weeks leading up to the triathlon, participants secured donations and pledges, all of which will benefit SO Arizona.
Among the prizes to be doled out are $100 gift cards to restaurants, 30-day memberships at DC Ranch Health Club, Zoot Tri shoes and a Trek mountain bike.
Mexican dinner will benefit PHS volleyball and cross-country teams
The Payson High School volleyball and cross-country teams are joining forces with the Friends and Neighbors (FAN) club to host a benefit Mexican dinner.
It will be served 4:30 to 7 p.m. Aug. 19 at Payson Elementary School.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children 10 years and under.
Tickets are available from the FAN club or any volleyball or cross-country team member. The menu will include homemade enchiladas.