What started as a triathlon and promotion for a Sacramento restaurant chain turned into an important funding source for the disabled. Johnson started the race that combines biking, kayaking, and running …to promote a restaurant he owned:
“I knew nothing about putting on an event. But, it went pretty well. We started and finished at the restaurant. When I sold it we decided to put it on the American River Parkway. It’s been there for about 32 years. it’s perfect. It’s the perfect venue.’”
Johnson says the move is what facilitated the donations:
“The head ranger of the Sacramento County Parks said, ‘You know, I think we could manage this and have it on the parkway system, maybe provided you give the funds that you raise to the therapeutic recreation program."
Jenn Wilson with Sacramento County’s Therapeutic Recreation Services says the money funds activities for thousands of disabled people each year:
"We take groups on day trips, we go to summer camp, we offer classes, we do monthly dances, we go to special events, we go to Rivercats games. We do all of the recreational activities that you and I like to do in our free time. We provide them for people who wouldn’t be able to do that kind of stuff without us."
Johnson says his son and about 30 others run the event with the help of 800 volunteers.
The 40th running of the race is scheduled for July 20th.