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Swim, Bike, Run, ROCK!

December 6, 2010 Fitness, Friends No Comments
When fellow triathletes need a hand (or 99-cents), I try to help ’em out. Please take a few minutes to read the below press release and watch the fantastic video. My roots in Kansas City run deep and I love to see folks there doing great work like this.  If you’re so inclined, head over to iTunes to buy the song!
Here’s a little background on Jon Blais and his Ironman story — it’s worth watching. (Oh, and grab a tissue.)

Swim, Bike, Run, ROCK – and help fight the war on ALS!
IRONBAND holiday single released on Blazeman Record Label with 100% of proceeds going to the Blazeman Foundation in support of ALS awareness and research

December 1st, 2010

It’s not often that something that started as a humorous side project intended to simply bring smiles to runners, cyclists, and triathletes evolves into something with a greater purpose. And frankly, despite our being involved in a few modest philanthropic efforts over the past couple of years, you’ve come to know us as a bunch of semi-musically inclined, middle-of-the pack triathletes who generally don’t display a note of seriousness among the off-key notes in our music.

As luck would have it, an opportunity to use our music to help fight the war on ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) fell into our laps this week and we’re both humbled and excited to play a small part in the efforts of a fantastic organization.

An Ironman World Championship to Remember

For those of you who follow Ironman triathlon you will undoubtedly remember the emotional scene as Jon Blais log-rolled across the finish line at the Ironman World Championship in Kona in October, 2005. Jon, a life-long triathlete, was diagnosed earlier that year with ALS. Rather than sit back and wait for the disease to take over his life Jon fought back and set out to achieve his life-long goal of becoming an Ironman by competing in the biggest, and what would be the final, race of his life as he put it, “even if they have to roll me across the finish line.”

Already suffering from the debilitating effects of the disease Jon was virtually unable to do the training normally required to compete in an Ironman. Nonetheless, he journeyed to Hawaii and stepped to the starting line as we held our breath and watched as his parents looked on from the sidelines. Along with millions of viewers worldwide we watched him struggle through the 2.4-mile swim, the 112-mile bike, and the 26.2-mile run under the hot sun and Hawaiian winds worrying, hoping, that he would reach the finish line.

Nearly sixteen and a half hours later Jon achieved the seemingly impossible when he approached the finish line, lay down, and rolled right across it. With that triumphant roll across the finish line Jon became the first person with ALS to become an Ironman and simultaneously launched a major battle on the war against ALS. In the two years between his finish in Kona and his passing in 2007, Jon became a key spokesperson and motivator, giving birth to Team Blazeman as athletes worldwide adopted his finish line log-roll, his courage, and his determination to raise awareness and further our research in the search for a cure for ALS.

Ironband Gets Involved

If you’ve made it this far in this rather lengthy back-story, thank you for listening. Now here’s the part where you can help and make an impact in the lives of those affected by ALS.

We  at Ironband sent out our holiday video card last week to our friends and fans and just this week the song “Please, Please Santa” was released on the Blazeman Record Label. Our song, as well as Mark Mason’s “Ironman Blazeman” song, are now on sale on iTunes (other providers to follow). The best news is that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these songs will go directly to the Blazeman Foundation! And stay tuned — there is talk of a compilation album involving numerous musicians and athletes as well as rumors of a benefit concert in Kona one of these days. Now that’s something I’d pack the guitar, bike, and Chamois Butt’r to be a part of!

So ramp up your holiday playlist, check out our holiday video below, read up on the Blazeman Foundation, and then visit iTunes to buy the songs and help support the fight against ALS. If you want to show your support in an even bigger way, consider making a direct donation to the Foundation, or, for the athletes among you, consider joining Team Blazeman and racing for the team while supporting this worthwhile cause.

And while I cannot promise you that our song will move you to heretofore unattainable musical bliss, I can promise you that your purchase will help fund critical programs that raise awareness about ALS and for cutting-edge scientific research to help find new treatments and an eventual cure.

Now that should be music to your ears.

-David Shultz, Ironband

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