USA (MNN) — At the end of August, Minnesota's Mike Pluimer
crossed the Ironman finish line in second place and over $38,000 in donations. He
spent the last year training and raising money for the worldwide AIDS programs with the Christian Reformed World
"I see a day in the future when HIV/AIDS is no longer a
pandemic in Africa and when we can see our brothers and sisters cross their
finish line in good health, achieving a goal that also at one point seemed
impossible," Pluimer explained about the motivation behind his race.
By placing second at the Janus Charity Challenge, Pluimer
obtained an additional $8,000 for CRWRC programs. The Charity Challenge is a
unique Janus Capital Group fundraising program that encourages tri-athletes to
raise money for their favorite charities while training for events. In his
personal appearances at schools and churches, Pluimer encouraged young people
to join him in his "Join the Race" fundraising campaign.
250 "i-joiners" from three
countries, eleven U.S. states, and three Canadian provinces each committed to
run, bike and swim to raise money for CRWRC's AIDS programs. Combined, they rode 2,532 miles, ran 1,208
miles, swam 67 miles, and participated in 45 hours of additional exercise.
These kids also sent $30,000 in fundraising donations and pledges to Pluimer.
"The Ironman takes endurance and commitment," says
Pluimer, "not only by me but by the strong support group who train,
cheer, and pray me through."
Additional donations for "Join the Race" are being
accepted through the end of this month. You can "join the race" by
clicking here to make a donation.
"Our brothers and sisters in Africa who are fighting
HIV/AIDS are in an even tougher race that requires much more endurance and commitment
than the Ironman. They need a support team much more than I do…I am so grateful
to the CRWRC for being their support crew. [Their] commitment will help them
finish their race."