Ironman competitors present donation checksBy Emily Beckett Published 10:19pm Thursday, June 20, 2013
One month after they competed in the toughest physical race of their lives, Chilton County residents Erric Price and David Reiter were ready Tuesday to give back to the people for whom they had competed.
Price, 30, and Reiter, 46, participated in the Ironman triathlon in Texas on May 18 to raise money for Thorsby High School and Lomax Assembly of God’s Speed the Light Ministry.
They were able to raise $2,703.18, which they split evenly to give $1,351.59 to THS and $1,351.59 to Speed the Light.
“Every penny that was raised here in Chilton County is going back to Chilton County to Speed the Light and Thorsby High School,” Price said.
In addition, they were required to give $1,300 to the Ironman Foundation before they could designate any of their donations to the two local groups.
The United States Corps of Chaplains became Price’s and Reiter’s fiscal sponsors for Ironman in order to allow them to legally collect donations and give their donors receipts for tax-filing purposes.
They started their fundraising efforts at home and eventually reached out to people all over the world (Ecuador, Madagascar and Mali, to name a few) through letters explaining the purpose of their participation in Ironman and seeking donations for THS and Speed the Light, which is a student-initiated ministry that provides transportation and technological equipment to U.S. and foreign missionaries spreading the gospel.
“Our students here each year set a goal of how much we would like to raise,” Lomax youth pastor Erron Price said. “This year, it’s $10,000. We try to get students involved and try to create the good habits of giving and being part of things bigger than them.”
Erron Price commended Erric Price and Reiter for sticking to their promises—even when some people said they wouldn’t—and completing the race for the sake of giving back 100 percent of their donations.
“Their commitment and their sacrifice that they followed through and finished is a huge testimony to their commitment and giving to world missions,” Erron Price said. “They’re faithful to their walk with God. They went above and beyond not to allow the small things to hold them back from the greater cause.”
The two men also decided to organize and hold a health fair fundraiser event May 4 in Thorsby in place of the health fair Chilton Medical Center sponsored prior to its closing in 2012.
Ironman is the longest one-day endurance race in the world comprised of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run to be completed consecutively for a total of 140.6 miles.
This year’s Ironman marked Price’s third and Reiter’s first Ironman race.
Both Erric Price, an investigator with the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office, and Reiter, a former Naval officer, finished the race despite the sweltering temperatures outside.
“The heat that day was three degrees away from being the all-time record heat in Houston, Texas, on that day,” Price said. “This is by far the hardest one I’ve done of the three.”
Price finished in 16 hours and 38 minutes, and Reiter finished in 17 hours and 18 minutes.
“Every state was represented and 20 countries,” Erric Price said, adding that of 2,400 people who started the race, 350 did not finish because of medical reasons and bike malfunctions.
The two credited their wives for supporting them during six months of grueling training and for bearing the Texas heat all day to watch them finish the race.
“All the work, all the millions of miles of biking and running, have come to fruition,” Price said. “We’re done and can plan for the next one in two years.”
Their sponsors/health fair booths included: Sears in Clanton, VFW, American Fitness & Health, Thorsby Drugs, Garrison Farm & Home Center, YMCA of Chilton County, American Industrial Metal, Yellow Dot – Jemison Police Department, Thorsby First Baptist Church, Sarrell Dental, Jeff State nursing, American Red Cross, American Legion, DAV, Tricare, THS (Soda and Ice Cream), Lomax STL, Food Vending, THS Snow Cones, Irwin Family Clinic, Inflatable, Silent Auction, Child Protect, Chilton County Humane Society, Thorsby Fire Department, Chilton County Sheriff’s Department, Thorsby Monuments/Memorials, Elite Salon, Baugh Ford, Ellison Recycling, 1-mile “Fun Run,” Face Painting – Sarell Dental, UAB Health Screenings, Cornerstone Fitness & Wellness, Mayor – Town of Thorsby; Advocare and Veterans Administration.