CMAK Foundation Newsletter
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    July  2014            

from Rebecca
As I woke up this morning, I started  to think of what my words of inspiration would be. Our family had gone to the build and ribbon cutting of the 25th playground as part of the Sandy Ground Project dedicated to Noah Pozner the weekend of July 25th-27th. For some reason, it was a very emotional build for me, one of the hardest builds since Chase's playground almost one year ago. I still can't figure out what made it so emotional, but it was. During Noah's mother's speech, I could feel the pain that she had been carrying for the past 19 months. In her words, I could feel the pain lift a little as she had come to realize something I have been carrying with me only a few days after Chase's passing. That is the realization that our loved ones are always in our hearts and minds, but they are also right next to us, behind a thin cloak or veil, leading us on this journey, helping us to make the best choices for whatever it is we need to do and placing the most amazing people in our direct path so that we can make the best connections to honor their spirit and keep paying it forward. 
We have been so blessed to have become friends with people we never would have met, while reconnecting with friends from our past. You never realize the impact you will have on another person until you get to spend some time with them, and, even then, it isn't until you part company that you can truly appreciate the WOW that you just experienced. I would like to share a WOW moment that happened to me today.
I was enveloped today by one of those people, my friend, Coach Fred.  I was not in the best of spirits and he helped put something in perspective for me. You see, Coach Fred is battling cancer again, and he shared with me a blog he writes. Now, he hasn't blogged for almost 3 weeks because of the chemo. He sent me this message "Hello Rebecca. You should check out my Coach Fred Facebook blog from Friday-You are my Hero"
His blog contained his feelings about the first annual Race4Chase triathlon. I was a hot mess after viewing it. but what I realized afterwards was that we are all blessed with amazing people that come into our lives. We all have a purpose on our journey. Some know what it is and some don't know, but when the time is right, we will find out. Some days it is difficult to navigate the emotional roller coaster, but as I gain the inspirations from my new friend's stories and I give them inspiration, I realize it is that positive energy that keeps us all moving forward, maybe at a different pace but still forward. 

Share a WOW Moment: View Coach Fred's Video "Survive and Thrive"

Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon 2014:

Congratulations to Our Triathletes !!!



With great anticipation, controlled enthusiasm and perhaps a few butterflies, close to two hundred budding triathletes entered the waters of Great Hollow Lake to compete in the Inaugural Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon.  For many, it was the first time to take on this challenge of a swim, bike and run event.  They had already marked their race numbers on their shoulders, prepared their bikes and running gear in the transition area, secured their timing chip around their ankles, received their final instructions and waded into the chilly waters to the start line.  Now was their time to shine and they certainly did not disappoint!


Parents, friends and volunteers lined the beach as the waves of athletes slashed through the waters toward the completion of the first leg. Arms and legs churned the waters to a froth as the contestants navigated their way to the final buoy.  There were many determined faces and more than a few smiles as the athletes made their way up the beach to the transition as they struggled to remove their goggles and Race4Chase swim caps while keeping a good pace.




Transition to the bike posed some different obstacles.  Wet bodies slowed the donning of socks and shirts, bike helmets needed proper  securing and direction (not back to front), timing chips became loose and adventures with the shoe tying experience all contributed to some frustrated looks, but the determined faces were back as the athletes mounted their bikes.


It was on the bike leg where many of the athletes were in their comfort zone, flying through the course, making "The Hill" seem more like a speed bump and slowing only at the turnaround and dismount.  However, by the time of entering transition again, there were some signs of fatigue amongst the athletes. But, with only one leg to go, their faces maintained their determined look.


The run leg on the trail around the picturesque Great Hollow Lake was where the athletes needed to dig deep.  First, they had to convince their legs to run rather than pedal which resulted in some awkward strides out of transition and past Chase's bench.  Then, just when their strides started to open up, they crossed the wooden bridge and faced a steep incline. Upon reaching the peek of the hill, spirits raised and determined faces returned as the finish line crowd was visible across the lake.  The final kick had begun with their last energy saved for the sprint through the finishing shoot.  Athletes were greeted by family and friends and the expression of accomplishment and satisfaction stretched across each face.  There were many impressive times lodged by the age group winners, but, regardless of their finish, the day was won by each of these triathletes.  And we know that Chase was present to inspire each of these athletes and watch over the event assuring its success.


Now that the challenge has been met by these athletes with such pride and determination, the Kowalski family and CMAK ask for three things from each participant:  First, wear your dog tag and Race4Chase T-Shirt proudly as a mark of your accomplishment, second, be inspired by Chase to continue to pursue races in the future to improve yourself and encourage those around you (check out August Kids Triathlon below) and, third, be an active part of the Race4Chase community by keeping us informed of your athletic pursuits and joining us at our events.  We hope to see many at the Bluefish game on Friday, July 18th or come to cheer on the Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon Program athletes at their "Finale" triathlon at Camp Matuacha in Watertown, CT on Saturday, August 2nd.

Thank You!



Hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures were taken by our photography volunteers.  We are currently organizing them by athlete including the post race athlete/family photo taken by the Race4Chase sign.  We will be in contact with each participant through the email address provided at registration when and where these photos are ready to view.  Through the generosity of our photography staff, the photos will be available to download  FREE of Charge for participants and their families.  Look for an invitation in your mailbox from DROPBOX. We will also post on our website a video of the event once it is edited and a photo gallery for all to view.

Race results can be accessed at, Race4Chase Triathlon Results.

View Channel 3 News Coverage:  Evening News

Kid's Triathlon Opportunity: Chase competed in his first triathlon at the age of six at the Kid's Who Tri Succeed in Mansfield CT.  They will be staging their 9th Annual Kid's Triathlon on August 23rd, 2014.  Click HERE for more details.



Henry Terifay Accepts CMAK "TRIumphant Chase" Award at Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon

Henry Terifay, close friend of Chase Kowalski, and volunteer at the Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon was presented the CMAK Foundation "TRIumphant Chase" award at the ceremony following the competition.

The "TRIumphant Chase" award will be presented each year to an athlete who completed his first triathlon at the Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon or was unable to compete for the first time in the Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon due to injury or illness.

In accepting this award, the athlete agrees to take the Race4Chase baton and participate in a Swim, Bike, Run event of their choice in the following 12 months plus return to the Race4Chase Annual Triathlon event to participate the following year.  During the year, he or she will keep CMAK informed on the baton's journey which will be shared with the Race4Chase community. The Recipient will pass the baton at the subsequent Race4Chase Triathlon event to the next recipient.

Henry was eager to complete his first triathlon in his friend's honor, but was unable to compete due to a bruised collarbone suffered prior to the event. CMAK wishes Henry a speedy recovery from his injury and looks forward to the exciting news of his adventures with the baton and his first triathlon.  Chase will be watching over him every step of the way.

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

Volunteers Needed !

After six weeks of training in all three skills of swim, bike, run, the Race4Chase Kid's Tri athletes anxiously await their first triathlon at the "Finale" this weekend in Watertown CT.  About 100 athletes from the three training sites (Waterbury, Trumbull, Danbury) will converge on Camp Mataucha to take on the challenging course.  Athletes and volunteers will be expected to arrive by 7:30am with the first wave of athletes starting by 9:00am.  Please join us to help stage the race or just to watch the event.  Races will be followed directly by an awards ceremony about 11:30 am.


World Champion Triathlete shares experience with Race4Chase Kid's Tri Program Athletes

Chris Thomas
, Ironman 70.3 World Champion in his age group ('08-'09, '12-'13) and part of the TIMEX Multisport Team, visited the Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon Program sites at the  Lakewood-Trumbull and GW Waterbury YMCA this week to share with the participants his experience and knowledge of the sport of triathlon.  Chris explained to the athletes his training regime and his high tech equipment which are essential for him to compete at the elite level of the sport.  The athletes took full advantage of his visit by asking many questions which Chris answered in detail.  The athletes will benefit from Chris's insight as they prepare for their August 2nd Race4Chase Kid's "Finale" triathlon to be held at Camp Mataucha in Watertown, CT.  Please join us to volunteer or just watch these athletes strive to complete their first triathlon!

CMAK would like to thank Chris Thomas, owner of Personal Training Professionals of Westport, for his time and effort and also TIMEX for facilitating this visit and supporting this program from its inception.  CMAK is fortunate to have their support in helping Chase inspire our youth.


CMAK Night at Bluefish Stadium

So the game score was 1-6 not so great for the Bluefish BUT no matter what the score in my eyes LOVE WINS! ....ALWAYS.

You have all come to know the significance of the number 8 and setting the date 7-18 was no surprise all I see 7+1=8 and 8  always letting me know that Chase is with us where ever we go, giving us a beautiful night is the extra special gift from above. I would like to thank everyone that had a hand in putting this event together. Nancy and Chris Portolese , Michele Orzechowski and Dawn Evanko,  you all make things happen and get it done, your support of CMAK and my family is so greatly appreciated. Last night was fabulous, couldn't have had a better night. I hope you had a fun filled birthday Michele and it was sweet to wish Margret Kowalski a happy birthday in Heaven. It was amazing to see so many of our friends and family come together for this fun event and help raise money for our cause.We had 154 seats sold  plus some concession so we made over $770.00, not to mention Katie Stokes and John Orzechowski hitting the burger and french fry signs and winning the whole section 8 burgers and fries from Wendy's. A special thanks to our new friends at the Bluefish Drew and Ken Shepard, this event was even more special because of the added detail of the bluefish wearing the number 8 on all of their jerseys, filling sectioin 8 and having to open two other sections, the concessions for $8.00 and the kids zone for $8.00. The most breath taking thing for me was a moment of silence at 8:08 what an honor it was to stand next to Ken and hold each other as we took our moment to reflect on the impact Chase is having on our world!


Reminder: August 3rd

MudRace4Chase : Mid Coast Mud Run Kid's Day

Enjoy a nice weekend in New England with the Mid Coast Mud Runs who are hosting a MudRace4Chase as part of their Kid's Day.

Tons of events for the kids!! Kids "Mini-Mud Run" with classes for power wheels and 4-wheelers, Mud Truck rides, The 2012 Sandy Hook Tribute Durango show truck will be there for kids and adults to check out, bounce house, and many other fun filled events for the kids!!

For more information, Click HERE.

Race4Chase News

Cathy Kost overcomes storms
to complete Lake Placid Ironman

Cathy Kost, competing for Race4Chase at the Lake Placid Ironman, faced thunderstorms, hail, rain and chilling temperatures to complete the 2014 Lake Placid Ironman.  Cathy, pictured above, is still smiling with her accomplishment.

Race4Chaser Cameron O'Bar Continues to Dominate Age Groups Triathlons

Cameron O'Bar continues his successful triathlon season capturing 1st place in his age group and 6th place overall in the Hopkins Vineyard Sprint Triathlon at Lake Waramaug in New Preston Ct. Then Cameron can back the following day and captured 1st Place overall in the New England Kids Triathlon in Boston, MA.  We wish him well for the rest of the season including in the age group national championships later this year.

TIMEX Invites All Race4Chasers to TIMEX 5k Run/Walk

The TIMEX Group of Middlebury CT has extended a special invitation to the Race4Chase community to participate in their annual employee, friends and family 5k.  The TIMEX Group, in partnership with CMAK, has been very supportive of the Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon Program including providing awards for the recent Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon and swim caps for the race and program through their TIMEX Triathlon Team supplier, Blue Seventy.  

In continuing their support, CMAK has been chosen by TIMEX to be the designated charity for the 3rd Annual TIMEX 5k Run/Walk.   The TIMEX 5k Run/Walk is a race organized by TIMEX for its employees, their families and freinds, free of charge.  Although there is not a registration fee, participants are encouraged to donate to CMAK through a special link during the registration process.  So please join us for this opportunity to gather as a team with one of our strongest partners.

REGISTRATION and Event Details: TIMEX 5k Run/Walk

In a show of appreciation, CMAK would like to provide from the Race4Chase community up to 10 volunteers to help TIMEX stage the event.  If you are willing to volunteer on race day, please sign up HERE.

All Race4Chase athletes should give advance warning of competitions they are entering so that CMAK can try to alert any other Race4chasers competing at the same venue.  Also forward pictures of competitions to so they can be included in newsletters and website galleries.  Any stories surrounding these activities would be greatly appreciated.  

Million Miles 4 Chase Update:

Norwich Free Academy dedicates Summer Training to Chase

Norwich Free Academy boys cross country team has joined the Million Miles 4 Chase campaign by dedicating their summer training miles to Chase.  Their coach, Chad Johnson, thought to add more meaning to their summer schedules by joining this program.  Each athlete is targeting to complete 400 miles over the summer and hoping to log over 4000 miles as a team.  We wish them success in reaching their goals and excelling in their cross country season this Fall.

Race4Chase Baton Update

Baton #1- (Bethel High School Track) 

Awaiting news from Nina Coulson in Texas on the latest.

Baton #2- (Trumbull Lakewood YMCA) 
Still A.W.O.L. If anyone has any information concerning its whereabouts, please advise CMAK. 

Baton #3- (Remains with Kowalski family on fire place mantel) 

Baton #4
Lee Whitaker, Fort Mill SC has now targeted a summer Ultramarathon for the baton pass. Awaiting news.

Baton #5-
Awaiting news from Christy Jones on her next race.

Baton #6-
Sarah Dombrowski and her Cape Cod relay team continue to hold the baton.  Awaiting further updates.

Baton #7-
Shawn Flanagan completed her first half marathon at the Calgary Marathon (Full/Half) on June 1st She was thrilled to find an exceptional candidate to take up the baton (Pictured below) and will have more news on where she plans to compete this Fall.

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

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