Our visit at The Challenged Athlete's Foundation

Thursday and Friday of this week were big days for Coeur. We had our sponsored athlete and rising ITU star Katie Hursey coming into San Diego for an Interview on Competitor Radio, we also had a photo shoot scheduled and most importantly of all, we had a meeting planned with The Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Before we left Los Angeles, we ran by our factory to pick up a shipment of triathlon tops and triathlon shorts and then we headed south to San Diego. Our first stop was the airport to pick up Katie. She was coming in from Phoenix where she trains with the Olympic Development team. We had also flown in her boyfriend Tommy Zaferes (hey…Coeur is all about love), so they could spend some time together before jetting off to the four corners of the world for their respective ITU races. Katie arrived right on time and Tommy touched down about 20 minutes later. After grabbing a cup of coffee, we loaded up the family truckster and headed to the Mighty 1090 a.m. Sports Radio.

Katie and Andrea at Challenged Athletes Foundation

Rising ITU Star Katie Hursey and Photographer  Extraordinaire Andrea Astudillo at the Mighty 1090

The interview was with the legendary Bob Babbitt, who in case you don’t know, is pretty much the historian of the sport of triathlon. It’s a topic for a different day but we believe Bob is one of the (perhaps “the”) most influential individuals in the sport. He has done an enormous amount of work to promote, shape and grow the sport. We arrived at the station and headed into the studio.

Not surprisingly, Bob was very prepared for the session. His questions were insightful and his professionalism was very apparent. If you get a chance, check out competitor radio and listen to the interview.  It should be up within two weeks.

Katie Getting Interviewed

Bob Babbitt is a true professional.  Here he reviews his notes prior to starting the interview


After the interview, we all grabbed lunch and then drove to the building that is a shrine to goodness in sport and humanity, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (“CAF”) Headquarters. We’ve written about it a bit in the past but, for those of you who aren’t aware, the CAF has raised more than $47MM since its inception in 1997. In 2014 alone, they approved over 1,400 grants for more than $3.1 million and they want to do even more.

Getting a tour of the CAF Headquarters

In addition to promoting the sport of Triathlon, Bob works tirelessly for CAF

Bob conducted the tour and toward the end, we made our way to a conference room. In the room, we chatted a bit about the great work done by CAF and Bob asked Katie and Tommy to try to mention the organization in social media from time to time. Then, in what we thought would be the finale, we presented the Coeur donation check. We thought the meeting was over but then the lights went down and this video began to play:


By the end, we were all in tears. I got the sense that everyone in the room made some promises to themselves to do even more to support this amazing organization.

On Friday, we got up and headed to some nature trails in North San Diego County for our photo shoot with Katie. Andrea did a masterful job of running the shoot while the rest of us provided comic relief.

Katie doing a photo shoot

While Andrea worked, Tommy kept the rest of us laughing

After that, we went over to visit Nytro Multisport, who is one of our retail partners. During our visit, we chatted with Skip who is the owner of the shop and he was kind enough to invite us back to his office. Skip’s office is a treasure trove of triathlon history and he shared some memorabilia with us. In hindsight, it was as if triathlon itself wanted to make sure the young ITU Pros (Katie and Tommy) understood their roots.


After our visit with Skip, it was time to get Katie and Tommy back to the airport and that concluded an amazing couple of  days.

Thanks for reading!

Your friends at Coeur.