Triathlon-Racing Athlete Launches Fundraiser for Red Hook Nonprofit

By Nikhita Venugopal on July 31, 2013 2:47pm 

 Annie Badavas, 23, will challenge herself to complete a triathlon and raise money for Red Hook nonprofit Friends of Firefighters.
Annie Badavas, 23, will challenge herself to complete a triathlon and raise money for Red Hook nonprofit Friends of Firefighters.
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DNAinfo/Nikhita Venugopal

RED HOOK — For Annie Badavas, crossing the finish line just wasn’t enough.

The 23-year-old athlete will be competing in the 2013 Athleta Iron Girl Sandy Hook Triathlon in September and using the challenge to raise funds for Friends of Firefighters, a Red Hook community-based group that began after 9/11 to help current and retired FDNY members and their families.

“I really believe in what they’re doing,” said Badavas, adding that the FDNY is “such a support system in the city.”

Badavas, a brand marketing manager who lives in the East Village, is hoping to raise $2,500 through a Crowdrise campaign that will be donated to the nonprofit, as she trains and competes in her first triathlon.

The nonprofit particularly encourages unique ways of raising and donating funds, said Meghan Zichelli, the nonprofit’s operations manager.

Earlier this year, Friends of Firefighters teamed up with Budge, an app that lets users challenge friends to activities and prompts the loser to donate to a charity.

Badavas will be training four-to-five days a week with a combination of early morning spin classes, yoga, running and swimming, she said.

The triathlon, to be held on Sept. 8, includes a half-mile swim, a 10-mile bike ride and a three-mile run in Sandy Hook N.J., an event that will bring her skill-sets together, said Badavas.

While completing the triathlon will be a “bucket-list moment,” she maintains her motivation by keeping the good cause in mind as well as the people who donate to her campaign.

“I know it’s not just me out there,” she said. “It’s a larger community out there supporting me.”

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