The Williamstown Badgers Triathlon Club held its first ‘Mum’orial Swim/Run Classic on June 27, a nod to the late triathlete Kathy Mellor.
“The race went great and it was a beautiful day,” said Lou Burgese, president and race director. “There were a good number of people … They wanted to get out of their house and do things. So it went off without a hitch.”
This race at Autumn Lake Winery welcomed more than 100 runners and swimmers who were there to honor Mellor, who passed away in 2020. According to Burgese, Mellor was like a “mum” to everyone she came in contact with, so that’s what everyone called her. She participated in many triathlons and often brought her daughter, Emmeline, along for the ride.
Emmeline is now a board member of the club and participated in the classic with her own daughters, Morgan and Leah. Before the race, Emmiline spoke highly of her mother and emphasized her own recent passion for triathlons. Participants at the event also received a locket type medal with a picture of Mellor inside.
“My mum would have loved the swim/run event on Sunday,” said Emmeline. “It was a wonderful morning full of activity, families and fun. My mum was a very active person and enjoyed a good challenge in any form. She would have been the first person to sign up and be wearing her T-shirt as soon as she finished.
“We miss her very much and will continue to honor her memory with the scholarship fund in her name and this event each year.”
The club not only wanted to recognize a loved one who was lost, but also use the race to start a scholarship fund for graduating students at Williamstown High School. Although the exact nature of the scholarship is still being discussed, the club would like to provide money to a student interested in photography, as Mellor was. So far, the race has brought in $3,000, and most of that money was raised through donations alone, which are still being accepted on the club’s website.
Burgese noted that for most racers, it was difficult to get back to the sport after so any cancellations from COVID. The next race for the Badgers is the Autumn Lake Triathlon on Sunday, Aug. 15, also at Autumn Lake Winery.
For more information about the triathlon club or upcoming events, visit https://www.badgerstri.com.