May 12, 2014 7:52 am

Makin It Happen triathlon remembers matriarch on Mother’s Day

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SASKATOON – “Makin It Happen” was the motto for a number of mothers and women Sunday as they swam, biked and ran in the annual ‘Makin It Happen’ triathlon.

The event is one way for a Saskatoon family to remember and honour their mom.

“She would be the first one bursting and jumping and congratulating all the women at the finish line,” said Wanda Waldner, the daughter of Marlene Antoniuk.

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Antoniuk used to volunteer annually at the Just-Tri-It triathlon, a race formed to introduce women to the sport.

She lost her fight to lymphoma cancer in 2010 after a six-year battle. Since then, her family and friends have taken over the triathlon and continue to run it in her memory.

“I think the energy around here is the energy she displayed when she would be at the registration table checking people in and writing their race number with permanent number,” said Tammy Fleming, the daughter of Marlene Antoniuk and part of the Makin It Happen triathlon.

The Makin It Happen triathlon is held annually on Mother’s Day.

“It’s way better then breakfast in bed,” said Tara Weiman, one of the participants in the Makin It Happen triathlon.

This year, over 100 participants, mainly women, swam, biked and ran to the finish line.

“I did it four years ago as part of the Just-Tri- It program to get my feet wet in triathlon and the energy and the women and the comradery has just been amazing, said triathlon participant Pat Drews.

“Because of it, I fell in love with triathlon.”

Proceeds from the race go towards local health related charities in Marlene’s memory; so far, about $20,000 has been raised in four years.

“I can’t imagine a better way to remember your mom. I see Tammy and I think about Marlene every time I train. I think that’s a really beautiful thing,” said Weiman.

“I think this is all about being on Mother’s Day, Marlene and her family have just done an incredible job to bring all these strong women together to honour her mother,” said Drews.

“The work that they’ve done to raise money for charities here in Saskatoon I think that’s what keeps bringing people back year after year.”

The race continues to grow every year and while Marlene isn’t able to be there physically, it’s become a family tradition to celebrate Mother’s day with her in spirit.

“It’s nice that we can come together and celebrate my mom in this great way with other people,” said Fleming.

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