CMAK Foundation Newsletter
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    August 2015            

from Rebecca

My inspiration today comes first thing in the morning. I wake up some mornings needing to accomplish something difficult. Whether it's the jam packed day looking at me or an inspirational piece to write, I always say to Chase, " help me make it a good day today, pal, I could use your help."  As I go to sleep at night, I  also thank God for the day he gave me. I'm choosing to live a life well lived. I'm learning who I am and who I want to be. It's funny that I say these words at 47 years old. We teach our children that they can be whatever they want to be. Our Race4Chase Tri program teaches them that and so much more. We teach how important their bodies are,  how to respect them, and how to feed them. How brain health is so important and being kind and helping one another is how to make this world a better place. And, oh yeah, by the way, we teach them how to swim, bike and run. I say all of this because we grow up thinking we can be anything we want to be but anything we want to be can change once we achieved that first goal. We need to set a second and a third goal, maybe we should teach them you can be anything you want to be but, it doesn't have to be one thing. Your life will grow and you can, and you will be many things. With the tools that Race4Chase and your family teach you, you will be all of those things you can imagine and some of those things that you thought, "never in a million year."

Depending on how I feel after my upcoming sprint triathlon, my head is already telling me I want to be an "Irongirl!" "Ironman" is still off my radar, as is a half Ironman and even an Olympic distance, but, who knows, I can be whatever I choose to be. It's only up to me. We should all pass this gift to our kids. We should teach them that they will have many paths to choose. Always follow your heart and stick with the core family values and they will have success in all they do.Thank you, Deena Ali !! You were the inspiration behind this piece. Godspeed to you on your Ironman!!

Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon Program FINALE!!!!!

After six weeks of training and preparation, the eight Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program sites in Connecticut descended upon YMCA Camp Sloper in Southington, CT to compete in the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon FINALE!  Athletes were greeted by an ideal setting for their long anticipated USAT-sanctioned youth sprint triathlon.  The expansive grounds of Camp Sloper with its beautiful lake, beach and wonderfully prepared extensive trails provided a difficult course for the athletes, but they were certainly up for the challenge.  The weather more than cooperated with temperatures nearing 90' by midday and brilliant sunshine.  

The day began with Opening Ceremonies at the beach while athletes received their final instructions.  

Rebecca and Stephen Kowalski wished the athletes a safe and successful race while assuring them that Chase would be with them until they crossed the finish line. Minister Victoria Triano shared a touching blessing for the event. The star and stripes were proudly displayed on the dock framed by the picturesque lake and forests of Camp Sloper while Jackie Navas and Stevilynn Fox sang a lovely rendition of the National Anthem.  

The throngs of spectators watching the ceremony from the elevated grounds surrounding the beach created an awe-inspiring venue, but the real excitement transpired once the horn sounded!  Our youngest Race4Chase triathletes took to the water, navigating across the length of docks and emerging from the beach and sprinting up the slope to the transition area where their bikes awaited.  

Every few minutes another horn sounded followed by the roar of the crowd as the next wave was sent on their way.  Athletes were never out of earshot from cheers from spectators, volunteers, family and friends, many holding signs urging their athletes onward.

Energetic program coaches were sprinting to all parts of the course to be in the best position to offer encouragement and guidance to their charges.  Anxious parents waited as their children circumvented the lake on the bike course, then erupted into cheers as their athletes appeared charging down the path toward the transition to the run.

For the two oldest age groups, the steep hill known as "Chase's Challenge" tested their resolve at the 800m mark of the running leg. The most hardy and determined were able to gain ground on the competition at this critical point of the race.

The final straight-away was lined with athlete's coaches, family and friends where they watched the athletes use their last stores of energy to propel themselves across the finish line.  Joy, relief and exhaustion were all evident on their faces as they received the well deserved Race4Chase Kids Triathlon dog tags signifying their great accomplishment. They can now be proud to be known as Race4Chase triathletes! 

An awards ceremony for the new Race4Chase triathletes at the lakeside amphitheater concluded the day's excitement.  Rob Dibble, Cincinnati Reds bullpen ace for their World Series Championship team and raised in Southington CT, was on hand to congratulate each of the athletes and help with the awards.  The top three finishers of each age year for both males and females received a TIMEX Ironman watch that they can use to monitor their training if they continue to pursue the sport of triathlon.

CMAK extends its gratitude to every sponsor, volunteer and supporter who made this event a success.  We can not thank enough the staff at Camp Sloper lead by Mark Pooler and John Myers for hosting this event.  Their efforts combined with the efforts of our incredible friends and ever present partners at the Greater Waterbury YMCA, lead by Jim O'Rourke, resulted in an event that was top notch in all aspects.  From preparation to set up, from race day operations to awards and clean up, everyone went beyond the call to assure an event that exceeded everyone's expectations, truly an amazing team effort.  A special thanks to Paul Labonte and Patti Flaherty of the Greater Waterbury YMCA for their extraordinary contribution to making the day a success.  Cameron O'Bar and Mike Chronert both volunteered at the FINALE following up on their mentoring appearances at some of the program sites. (see below)

Our amazing sponsors stepped up again in supporting both the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program and the FINALE event.  Grants from USA Triathlon Foundation and Dicks Sporting Goods Sports Matter Program provided critical financial support to our program's expansion. Support from TIMEX Group  (awards and financial support), Blue Seventy (swim caps and goggles), Zane Cyles (helmets), Frito Lay (helmets), Generation UCAN (hydration for FINALE), Classic Cycles of Southbury (FINALE bike mechanics), Poland Spring (Water, water and more Water) and CT State Police Union (helmets and financial support) allowed from the high standards of the program and FINALE to be met.

As we reflect on the accomplishments of the athletes, the excitement of the FINALE and the way that family, friends, coaches, trainers, volunteers and supporters have come together to support the effort of these athletes, we truly can see the good that has emanated from the inspiration provided by Chase Kowalski.  These Race4Chase triathletes have learned that with determination and effort, they can tackle any challenge.  They can also realize that they have a community of support to achieve their goals.  We do not know whether there might be a future Olympic triathlete amongst the finishers, but we can be assured that from their experience from the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program that they will be better prepared to accomplish what they desire.

Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon Program

Amy Dixon, Chris Thomas, Mike Chronert and Cameron O'Bar Share Triathlon Experience with Program Athletes

The participants from many of the Race4Chase Kids Tri Program sites were treated to a special guest appearance from some very accomplished triathletes who shared their wisdom and enthusiasm for the sport of triathlon.  The athletes were shown the state of the art equipment used by elite triathletes including aero cycles, helmets, tri kits, clip shoes which assist the competitive triathlete perform at the highest level.  The guests shared their experience with each of the three legs including strategies for transition to give the athletes some guidance on how to approach their upcoming race.  The athletes asked some terrific questions and gained a sense of what they can look forward to if they continue in the sport.

As reviewed in our July newsletter, Amy Dixon demonstrated her triathlon skills and shared her experience as a blind triathlete with our Waterbury site.

Chris Thomas, former World Champion in his age group and TIMEX Multisport Team member, returned for his second year to visit the sites in Lakewood-Trumbull and Milford.

Mike Chronert, #1 ranked in the world his age group for 70.3 Triathlon, Generation UCAN intern and current Notre Dame pre-med student, visited both the Southington and Middletown sites.

Cameron O'Bar, member of the USA team going to the Age Group World Championships in September and one of the earliest Race4Chase triathletes, visited the site at Brookfield for the second year.

We thank these elite triathletes for their support of the Race4Chase program and for taking the time out of their training and work schedules to instruct and inspire our budding triathletes.  Their visitations were a special opportunity for our athletes to learn first hand from some of the best in the sport.   They are great role models for our youth.
CMAK accepting 2016 Race4Chase Youth Triathlon Program Applications

The Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski Foundation is accepting Letters of Intent for the 2016 Race4Chase Youth Triathlon Program.  All potential sites interested in hosting a Race4Chase Kids Tri Program should submit applications prior to the deadline.

Letter of Intent will be due by November 15, 2015.
Acceptance or denial letters will be sent out mid December.
Award letters will be sent out December 31, 2015.  Interested parties can access the application instructions as the following link:

2016 Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program Application

CMAK is announcing another one time only raffle. We will be raffling off 4 Walt Disney World Hopper Passes. These passes, valued at $620.00, are valid during normal operating hours and provide admission to a magical experience at the 4 unique theme parks: the Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney's Hollywood Studios®, or Disney's Animal Kingdom® for one day. These passes expire on August 1, 2017. The raffle tickets will be available for $20.00 each starting this weekend at our Chase Kowalski Memorial Golf Tournament in Barrington, NH. Additional tickets will also be sold at our Annual Love the Chase Scavenger Hunt on September 12 at Bluefish Stadium and the Newtown Pumpkin Festival on Saturday, October 10 at our booth at the Fairfield Hills Complex in Newtown, CT. The winner will be announced at the Pumpkin Festival on October 10 at approx 6pm.

If you can not attend any of these events and are interested in a ticket, please email us at with DISNEY in the subject line!

Thanks for your support and GOOD LUCK!!!!

CMAK Night at the BLUEFISH

On a beautiful night for baseball, CMAK family and friends enjoyed a well played game on CMAK Night at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard (Home of the Bridgeport Bluefish).  Tracy Terry treated the crowd to her wonderful voice while singing the National Anthem to begin the evening.   Bob Kowalski, Chase's uncle, threw out the first pitch and the Bluefish took the field. Race4Chase squishy softballs were a big hit with the fans.  The photos below capture some of the fun.  It certainly was an evening enjoyed by all.

Note from Rebecca: 

The Bluefish took the contest 8-4 that night.  I'd say that both Chase and Ken Shepard shared in the joy of the game that night.  It's hard to believe that just a year before Ken and I stood together arm in arm reflecting on Chase.  Ken told me that he probably wouldn't be here for next year's game, he'd watch it with Chase.  A bitter sweet memory.

"Love the Chase" Scavenger Hunt: Excitement Grows!!!

The Love the Chase" Scavenger Hunt is back and promises to be better than ever!  This family friendly event will take place on Saturday, September 12, 2015 and have a new starting point at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard (Home of the Bluefish) and will surprise you with new venue and interesting challenges which will test your team's ability.  This event is for all ages and the challenges are appropriate for anyone in the family.  Slots are filling up quickly.  Please sign up for this popular event at "Love the Chase" Scavenger Hunt.


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Race4Chase News

Race4Chase at New England Kids Triathlon

Eight Race4Chase triathletes competed at the New England Kids Triathlon staged in Boston on the MIT campus.  Race4Chase enthusiasm and determination were on display for the entire Youth triathlon community to witness.  The Race4Chase team had many impressive performances including Jimmy Hunter's first triathlon!


Cameron O'Bar Prepares for World Championships

Cameron O'Bar continues to dedicate his triathlon racing in Chase's memory as he prepares for the Age Group World Championships in September as a member of the USA team.

Cameron (above) recently finished third overall and 1st in his age group at the Hopkins Vineyard Sprint Triathlon in a time of 59.56.

He also competed well in the USAT Nationals in Milwaukee finishing 28th in his age group after taking a penalty.  He is focused on peeking at the World Championships taking place in Chicago, Ill. on September .  We wish him the best of luck and will continue to follow his progress.

2016 Race4Chase Boston Marathon Team

The CMAK Foundation intends to enter a Race4Chase Team at the Boston Marathon again this year.  In April 2015, a team of seven strong Race4Chasers completed the race in impressive fashion.  For the 2016 Boston, runners must achieve qualifying marathon times before the September 10th registration application deadline.  CMAK has applied for bibs under the John Hancock Non Profit Charity program which do not require a qualifying time.  If our application is successful in mid September, we will then reach out for those that may be interested to run on the team and select candidates for the charity bibs.  If you plan to run the 2016 Boston Marathon as a qualifier and would like to run on the Race4Chase team or if you would like to be considered for one of the non qualifier bibs that CMAK may be awarded, please contact Kevin Grimes at

2015 Race4Chase Boston Marathon Team

Baton Update

Baton #1-

Heidi Langan
carried the Race4Chase baton while visiting home across the Atlantic.  Heidi and her son competed in the 5k Park Run at Lanhydrock Park in Cornwall, UK on August 8th.  They were cheered on by their extended family donning their Race4Chase t-shirts inspiring Heidi to finish 3rd in her age group.  

Heidi passed the baton to MacKenzie Bloxham, 9 year old and aspiring triathlete, and his Dad, Steve Bloxham from Leicester UK, who will decide where the baton goes next.  MacKenzie showed his running talents on this day by capturing first place in his age group!

Baton #5-

Donna Decker has passed the Race4Chase baton to her friend and training partner Shannon Bangs who will be joining Donna at the Tour de Moore Century cycle.  This will be the first cycle only event for the Race4Chase batons.

Baton #11-

Shannon Osborne competed in the Willow Creek Triathlon at Quaker Lake in Allegany State Park, PA on August 1st as part of a family triathlon relay along with her daughter, Grace, and her husband.  Shannon completed the running leg of the triathlon.  Both her husband and Shannon have competed in this triathlon in years past but this is the first time forming a family relay. Upon completion of the relay, Shannon passed the baton to two athletes, Anne Dolce of Jamestown NY and Mindy Lawson Crabtree of Frewsburg, NY, preparing to compete at the USAT National Championships in Milwaukee, WI
Anne, Shannon and Mindy at Willow Creek
Anne, Shannon and Mindy at Willow Creek

Anne is a mother of 2 and a band director for the Panama Central School in Western New York.  Mindy is a physical therapist at Luthern Social Services in Jamestown.  They started training together and competing in triathlons two years ago making significant improvements along the way.

Anne and Mindy competed at the USA Triathlon National Championships on August 9th finishing in 3h09 and 2h46 respectively.

Upon completing their race, they passed the Race4Chase baton to Tammy Powell, fifth grade teacher from Franklin PA.
Mindy, Tammy and Anne at USAT National Championships
Mindy, Tammy and Anne at USAT National Championships
We await news from Tammy on her plan for the baton.

A big thanks to for donating all the Race4Chase batons for this program and also for use in our Race4Chase Kid’s Triathlon program. 

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