DARIEN, Conn. – Darien’s Michael Keady is so motivated to compete in the Navigators Stamford KIC It Triathlon for the fifth consecutive year that he rises at 5:30 a.m. daily for his workouts.
"For me, it’s more about helping the agency than the race itself,’’ said Keady, referring to Cos Cob-based Kids In Crisis. “I like the fact that we’re helping them through this race.”
Alon Marom, director of development, corporate & community giving for Kids In Crisis, inspired Keady to join the group’s triathlon committee after Keady signed up to volunteer. “Since I was on the committee, I soon realized I had to participate in the race,'' he said.
Keady will stand on the starting line Sunday at Cummings Beach in Stamford, ready to race the Olympic distance event yet again. He races infrequently, but the Stamford triathlon is the one event on his calendar annually.
“I’ve always been athletic, and I run, bike and swim anyway,’’ Keady said. “It wasn’t that big of a deal to put them together and compete. I wish I started when I was younger.”
Keady’s support for Kids In Crisis makes the training worthwhile. Kids In Crisis is Connecticut’s only free, round-the-clock agency providing emergency shelter, crisis counseling and community educational programs for children of all ages and families dealing with a wide range of crises – domestic violence, mental health and family problems, substance abuse, economic difficulties and more.
“I feel I’m pretty fortunate,’’ Keady said. “In Fairfield County and even in the metro New York area, we’re all so fortunate in so many ways. It’s easy for most of us to go about our day and enjoy our families and careers, but a lot of people need help. It doesn’t take much money or time. Every little bit helps. If we all chip in, it doesn’t take much to help a lot of people.”
Keady prepares by training early each morning. “I can’t find time to get anything done outside of my job and my family,’’ said Keady, the Greenwich market manager for People’s United Bank. “Most days I’m up by 5:30 or 5:45 in the morning and I’ll go for a run before work. I just wake up. I don’t have an alarm clock. Sometimes in the winter, or if it’s rainy or dark, it’s so tempting to roll over and go back to sleep, but working out is just something I have to do.”
Now in its seventh year, the race's swift growth does not surprise Keady. The first edition of the event had just the Olympic distance race. This year, a kids race Saturday will start the events, and there will be a first-year Sprint distance event on Sunday along with the Olympic distance.
“There are so many people getting involved in triathlons and racing in general,’’ Keady said. “It’s especially popular in this area. I was saw an article that said Fairfield County was the most popular area in the country for racing. Seeing how popular this race has become is not surprising at all.”