Triathlon is a unique sport. It combines three disciplines, professionals compete on the same course at the same time with age group athletes, there are different styles and distances, and individuals from all walks of life share the passion of crossing the finish line.
Dan Williams, 49, of Chula Vista, Calif., is one of them. He is an 11-time Ironman finisher who races to show his kids that normal people can do amazing things. He races to honor the legacy of his mother and the active lifestyle she raised him to appreciate. He races to fundraise for the Special Operations community.
“When you are running and you have that cause you are racing for, it enables you to keep going at times,” Williams said.
This year, he will race to fundraise for The Honor Foundation (THF), a non-profit organization that provides education for Navy SEALs/ Special Operations Forces transitioning out of the military into the civilian work force. THF brings in college professors, New York Times best sellers and local business owners to educate, train and prepare them for what lies ahead in the next chapter of life.
Williams met the founder and president of THF, Joe Musselman, on a flight in 2012 and crossed paths a few times since. Musselman was dropped from the Navy due to a back injury, but with the guidance and inspiration from Bob Schoultz, a retired Seals Captain and friend of Williams, he came up with the idea to start The Honor Foundation.
“Since Joe is a friend, I want to support his vision,” Williams said. “I think about the team guys I know when I race, neighbors and friends, and all that they sacrifice.”
For 2014, Williams plans on racing the Super Seal Triathlon in March, Ironman 70.3 Boise in June, Ironman Lake Placid in July and the Superfrog Triathlon in September. Of equal importance to his triathlon endeavors will be the Inaugural Honor Foundation 5K on April 12 at UCSD in La Jolla. This will be the first event The Honor Foundation hosts.
“As the foundation grows, they will be involved in more sports events like triathlons, because it really lines up with their culture,” Williams said. “Fitness, endurance, mental toughness— qualities of Ironman athletes.”
To learn more about The Honor Foundation click here.