KONA Athletes

They applied. They were interviewed. They were selected.

Team In Training has limited highly coveted entries for the IRONMAN® World Championship. This race is normally by-qualification-only, but Team In Training has limited guaranteed entries for those ready to impact the mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in a big way.

These athletes have completed an application and interview process and were selected by a committee amongst a number of submissions.

May we introduce our IRONMAN® World Championship Teammates!

Meet Captain (Ret) Robert R. Cox Supply Corps, U.S. Navy - Georgia Chapter

Born in Maryland, Robert "Bob" Cox is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy where he competed on the NCAA Division I Men's Gymnastics Team. During his 24 year naval career, he served around the world, allowing him to compete in his first IRONMAN® in Hokaido, Japan in 1999. Bob competed on the Navy's triathlon team from 2000-2003. He closed out his Navy career in Georgia, serving as the Commanding Officer of the Defense Contract Management Agency, Atlanta. There, he joined TNT Georgia's inaugural IRONMAN® team, competing in IRONMAN® Arizona in 2011. After Bob retired from the Navy in 2012 he chose to pursue his life-long dedication to fitness and well-being by teaching senior fitness classes and raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of his mom, Alida, a survivor of both leukemia (in remission for 8 years) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (tumor free for almost 3 years). The IRONMAN® World Championship will be Bob's 50th triathlon! Bob has raised over $35,000 for the LLS and plans to participate in many more Team In Training endurance events and continue raising money to find a cure for cancer.

Fundraising Page

Meet Ande Edlund – Washington-Alaska Chapter

Ande grew up in Seattle, Washington and is a proud Washington State University Cougar! Ande found Team In Training in 2006 when a friend suggested he participate in a triathlon. It was the most ridiculous idea he'd ever heard but Ande signed up for the Treasure Island Triathlon in San Francisco anyway. After that first event, Ande was hooked on TNT and triathlons! He's worn many hats for the WA-AK Chapter, serving as a mentor, captain, coach and national volunteer leader. Ande fell in love with The Island of Hawai'i during his first visit in 2009 as the Lavaman team captain. He's returned to The Big Island for the event every year since. Ande has an 8-year old golden retriever named Dash who became a viral sensation after holding a hot dog in his mouth at a Seattle Mariners baseball game and is now an Instagram celebrity. Dash has been the Lavaman team's mascot since 2011, so Ande uses Dash's fame and audience to fundraise in support of LLS's mission. "Team Dash" has a fundraising goal of $100,000 that they plan to align with two of LLS's research portfolios, one in memory of Ande's father and the other in memory of his grandfather (who died of CML in 1983).

Fundraising Page

Meet Joey DeFeudis – Massachusetts Chapter

Born and raised just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Joey is a police officer with the Salem, New Hampshire Police Department. He has served as a tactical S.W.A.T. Team Operator with the Central New Hampshire Special Operations Unit, is a certified Field Training Officer (FTO), and is part of the Southern New Hampshire Special Operations Unit as a Hostage and Crisis Negotiator. In December 2014, Joey's mother, Deborah DeFeudis, was diagnosed with leukemia. Over the course of the following six months, Joey never left his mother's side. When it became apparent that treatment was no longer working, Joey brought his mother home and was with her in the early morning of June 4, 2015 as she took her last breath. Those six months put Joey on a course to see the cure for cancer for us all. This is his "why" and where he finds his strength – all for his mother.

Fundraising Page

Meet Lauren Bogart – Silicon Valley-Monterey Bay Chapter

As a resident of Sunnyvale, California, Lauren works for Apple as a Manager of Data Science in Apple's Online Store. An avid swimmer growing up, Lauren was able to attend the University of Colorado, specializing in breaststroke and the individual medley events. A post-college snowboarding accident caused her to have spinal surgery to fuse the three lowest vertebrae in her spinal column. She had to relearn how to walk and was told that she'd never run again and flip turns in the pool wouldn't be possible. Today, she has defied the odds, and with close consultation with doctors and listening to her body, she can do flip turns, has run about 15 half marathons, 3 stand-alone marathons, numerous Olympic and half distance triathlons, and is a 3 time IRONMAN® finisher. She is a fighter – which has earned her the nickname Honey Badger. She recently completed her 10th event with Team In Training at the 2019 Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon prior to Kona and has fundraised almost $80,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to date!

Fundraising Page

Meet Paul Wright – Gateway Chapter

In the late 1990's Paul started the first Team In Training program for the state of Utah which eventually evolved into a chapter office for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Salt Lake City. His best friend growing up died of leukemia and more recently Paul lost a very dear student who he taught at Lindenwood University. While at the University of Utah, Paul worked closely with Primary Children's Hospital and became very close to many families who had children afflicted by blood cancers. Some of these amazing and courageous children fought valiant battles against the disease and succumbed. This was heartbreaking for Paul. As a former NCAA Division I athlete, he has been able to run over 50 marathons, complete IRONMAN® triathlons, and climb mountains to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Just a few days after the IRONMAN® World Championship this October, Paul will also be celebrating a 10 year streak of running every single day!

Fundraising Page

Are you our next IRONMAN® World Championship teammate?

This Fall we will be accepting applications for the IRONMAN® World Championship 2020. Fill out this form to be notified when the application process starts. In the meantime, keep an eye on this year’s Kona athletes and how they take on this challenge on our Team In Training Instagram feed.