Makin’ It Happen triathlon held in memory of beloved volunteer

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WATCH ABOVE: Makin' It Happen triathlon held in memory of a woman who lost her battle with lymphoma cancer and had a passion to introduce women to the sport – May 14, 2017

Tammy Fleming has been organizing the Makin’ It Happen triathlon for 12 years with her mom, Marlene Antoniuk, by her side for most of that time.

“My mom would always volunteer at the registration table. She was smiling and cheering and upbeat,” Fleming said in Saskatoon on Sunday.

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In 2010, Antoniuk died from cancer and to honour her memory, the triathlon has been held annually on Mother’s Day since then.

“She was strong, brave and an amazing woman,” Fleming said. “She taught me to be courageous and persistent, so I think this race will be around for a long time.”

The triathlon is all about being courageous and trying something new. The women-only race consists of a 200-metre swim, six-kilometre bike ride and two-kilometre run.

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“When you run, bike or swim, it’s not that bad. But once you do them back-to-back it can be intimidating, especially once you add in the transition areas,” Fleming explained.

It’s a challenge Cindy LaLonde and her daughter, Kat Brand, are determined to overcome together, particularly since Sunday marked Brand’s 30th birthday.

“It was amazing! She came all of the way from Vernon, B.C., and did it with me,” Brand said after the triathlon.

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“A year and a half ago, I couldn’t walk — I got arthritis in my foot,” she added.

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