At first glance, Lacey Hegwood may seem to be a typical sporty and energetic young woman, but she truly has a heart made of gold – and perhaps powered by steel. Inspired by a friend’s selfless act of giving, this talented triathlon athlete has created a 6-month challenge for herself and others to help change the face of foster care. “This season, I am asking people to pledge either a penny, nickel, dime or quarter for every mile I swim, bike or run until the end of September 2014,” Lacey announces, “Every penny earned will benefit Bloom, a non-profit organization that provides refuge and support for foster children.”
“I believe in giving back,” Lacey confesses, “That’s what we are put on this earth to do – to help each other, to lift each other up.” But why choose to give back to foster children, you might ask? “I believe that everyone needs a place to feel safe,” Lacy explains. “Everyone deserves love, kindness and stability. I believe Bloom is working hard to make sure children in foster care have their basic needs met, plus leaps and bounds more.”
As a Half Ironman Triathlon competitor, Lacey has spent countless hours training in preparation of the challenges to come. Her athletic career began in 2012, initiated by the gift of a new Trek Road bike (lovingly referred to as “Pearl”). Soon afterwards, Lacey decided to challenge herself in ways she had never done before. For a relatively new competitor, Half Iron Mans can be quite intimidating, including swimming 1.2 miles, biking 56 miles, and running 13.1 miles. She won her first Half Iron Man in October 2013 in Amelia Island, Florida. Having gotten the sweet taste of victory, Lacey was eager to enter more competitions in the seasons to come. However, the costs were substantial.
Earlier this year, Lacey’s dream of becoming a serious Triathlon athlete was catapulted into reality when an old acquaintance arose from the woodwork and answered her prayers; she was now a sponsored athlete. With all competition expenses taken care of, Lacey was free to push herself as much as possible for an entire season. Her supporter’s selfless act prompted Lacey to adopt the same approach in her training. “I want to do the same for Bloom this year,” she explains, “I want to give back because someone gave so generously to me.”
To donate to Lacey and follow her 6-month training progress, please visit https://www.facebook.com/triforbloom.