Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 5:20 EDT

Ironman Has a Heart of Gold

August 6, 2012

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ Armonk resident Aaron Kwittken is a man on a mission, a two-fold mission – to complete his first ever full-length Ironman Triathlon on August 11 while raising $25,000 for Center Lane, a program of Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) that serves LGBTQ youth. He has already raised $22,000 to date from friends, family, colleagues and clients and is confident that he will reach his $25,000 goal by race day.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120806/NY51511)

A member of the WJCS Board of Directors since 2004, Kwittken has been training for seven months to prepare for the inaugural Ironman U.S. Championship — a 140.6-mile race that includes a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River; a 112-mile bike ride on the Palisades Parkway in Bergen and Rockland Counties; and a 26.2-mile run beginning in New Jersey and finishing in Riverside Park in Manhattan.

Admitting his training has been intense, Kwittken says his “peak weeks” include swimming about 10,000 yards, running 22-23 miles in a single day in 90-degree heat and biking for six-seven hours, covering more than 100 miles. His aim is to complete the Ironman course in about 13-14 hours (he has 17 hours to finish).

No stranger to pushing the envelope, Kwittken says he got into triathlons in 2008 after losing his father to congestive heart failure. He has participated in 20 triathlons since including the Olympic-distance New York City Triathlon three times, the Westchester Toughman 70.3 once and the Olympic-distance Westchester Triathlon three times.

“Competing in a full-length Ironman race has been a life-long ‘bucket list’ goal of mine, albeit a little crazy,” explains Kwittken.

What’s not crazy is that he is dedicating his race to raise funds for Center Lane, which is in dire need of financial assistance due to recent cuts in grants and state funding. Westchester’s only community center for LGBTQ youth, Center Lane helps reduce the isolation that many of these young people feel by providing an opportunity for socialization, enhanced self-esteem and personal growth in a safe place where they can be themselves without the fear of harassment.

“Center Lane’s mission is a cause that needs more understanding, compassion and awareness,” he says. “The program provides LGBTQ teens with lifesaving tools that allow them to deal with discrimination and bullying. Hopefully, this scale of effort – The Ironman – will shine the spotlight on this important cause.”

CEO and Managing Partner of award winning public relations firm kwittken + company worldwide, Kwittken has reached out to clients, colleagues, friends and family for support.

Corporate sponsors to date include DJO Global, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, Astoria Federal Savings, MDC Partners, KBS+, Kwittken + Company, Guardian Life Insurance, eVestment, Applied Predictive Technologies, Tri-Trainer, Readers Digest, Touchstorm, Leros Point-to-Point, Primary Wave Media, Sharp Electronics and PR Newswire.

“I feel fortunate to have my health and be able to compete in this event,” he adds. “And I feel blessed to have the encouragement of so many family members, friends and associates. I know it will help me psychologically as I tackle the course on August 11.”

To contribute to Kwittken’s Ironman efforts for Center Lane, go to www.wjcs.com/ironman.

SOURCE Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS)

Source: PR Newswire