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Jacob's Team In Lake Placid, Ready To Race

You know these guys, you've seen them around town, and now you can help them help those with autism.

If you're looking for that group of sweaty guys with bikes who hang out at Starbucks in the center of town weekend mornings, talking, laughing, and enjoying their coffee, you won't see them this weekend.

Those guys call themselves the Madrunners and they are in Lake Placid, NY, where, tomorrow, on July 24th, they will compete in an Ironman-distance triathlon to support the diagnosis, treatment and eventual cure of autism. The race will include a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 (marathon) mile run.

The guys are Shane Kokoruda, Matt Menard, Jon Hurley, Richard Crans, Joe Harvey, Ken Stokes, Jason Atwater, John Naizby, and Greg Lesnik.

Why do they think racing for 140-plus miles is fun?

"Well, that's a good question," says Shane Kokoruda, who clearly understands that is not most people's idea of fun. "We started running and training together about 5 years ago.  It really just started out as a group of guys that wanted to get into shape and enjoyed the motivation of having a group."

He says that over the years, the intensity and the training and the level of fitness of the group increased. "It seems like the bar just keeps getting raised.  People that live in Madison probably see us all the time.  We are the group that runs and bikes at 5 a.m. in the morning and are usually hanging out at Starbucks all sweaty, enjoying coffee and each others company," he said.

And why autism?

"That's easy," Kokoruda says. "My son Jacob was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 years old.  Jake is now 9, and is doing great, but several years ago my wife and I wanted to do more, and started the Jacob's Team Foundation to raise money for programs, schools, and organizations that provide services to autistic children."

Since its inception, Jacob's Team has raised and donated over $50,000 for local organizations.

"When the group of us decided to to Ironman Lake Placid together, we set it up so that everyone could raise money for the foundation.  That's just the type of guys they are," Kokoruda said.

Want to join Jacob's Team by helping out? Go here: http://imlp2011.kintera.org. You can make a general donation, or donate for a specific racer.

To find out more about Jacob's Team, you can go to this website.

Jacob's Team also is sponsoring its 4th Annual Golf Outing, Tuesday, Sept. 6th at the Madison Country Club. To register for the event, please complete the registration form and send your check or money order to: Jacob's Team Foundation, PO Box 832, Madison, CT  06443

If you are interested in becoming a tournament sponsor (e.g., event, green or tee), please contact us at 203-605-3749 or email Sharon at sharon.kokoruda@jacobsteam.org. 

This article was corrected Wednesday June 27, to include the correct date of the golf tournament.

Pat Hubbell Becker July 23, 2011 at 11:45 AM
We were lucky enough to be in Lake Placid for last year's Ironman and found the experience to be completely exhilarating. And, mind you, we were just viewers. From the first plunge into Mirror Lake until nightfall as the marathoners were still coming in-it was just amazing. I am in AWE. GO JACOB'S TEAM!!! Pat Becker
Robert Bracer July 23, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Good luck, hope the temp drops. Also, it is an Ironman distance race, it is not "the Ironman". That is in Hawaii.
Pem McNerney (Editor) July 23, 2011 at 06:23 PM
Thanks Robert! You are right. That was my mistake. I'll clarify! I hope the temp drops too, for their sake ... whew ...
Shane July 26, 2011 at 12:11 PM
The Jacob's Team Lake Placid 9 all finished and had a great day and race. Thank you to everyone for supporting the team and the foundation. As of this morning we have raised over $20,000 for the Jacob's Team Foundation, which is incredible. For me personally, this was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and one that I will never forget. The race was great, but having the support of friends and family made it incredible. A special thank you to Zane's Cycles for their support. They not only provided the uniforms for the team, they also made sure our bikes were ready to handle the 112 mile bike course. Thank you again for the support.
Pem McNerney (Editor) July 26, 2011 at 12:14 PM
Shane! That is awwwwwwwwesome! Congrats to you, to the team, and to Zane's Cycles (love that place)!

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