A celebrity athlete will soon make his way to Severna Park to inspire local runners and triathletes to reach their full potential.
Chris Lieto, the fastest American Ironman and one of the top triathletes in the world, will be the guest of honor at a dinner at the Severna Park Community Center on September 4. Lieto will also be joining in on a 5K along the B&A Trail on September 5.
Spark Running owner Caitlin Burman is organizing the events. Burman said she wanted to give local athletes the chance to meet someone who excels at the sport.
“We have a lot of triathletes in this area who I know could get a lot out of hearing Chris speak,” Burman said. “So many of the world-class ironman are not American—Chris being an American I thought this was a good local opportunity for triathletes.”
Lieto has also started More Than Sport, which is a way for athletes to compete and give back to community in need.
According to its website, “More than Sport began with the vision of Chris Lieto, Ironman champion, world record holder in cycling, and 3 time triathlon champion, who wanted to do more with his athletic ability than simply compete. Simply said: Chris founded More Than Sport to provide a way for athletes to invest in communities of need, particularly those we compete in.”
More Than Sport works to improve the lives of children and communities around the world.
“He doesn’t just race to race—he races to raise funds for his organization More Than Sport, so every race he does he is fundraising,” Burman said. “I think it is really neat to see a celebrity athlete using his talents to benefit others.”
Burman said Café Mezzanote will be catering the dinner at the community center and throughout the night Lieto will be speaking about his various athletic endeavors.
“He has been to the Ironman world championships several times, but he has never won it,” Burman said. “So he will be talking about overcoming some mental hurdles, which I think will be great for our athletes to hear.”
The cost for the dinner is $60, and the registration fee for the 5K is $30, with all proceeds going to More Than Sport. All 5K finishers will be awarded a medal by Lieto.