The Spirit of Blazeman Award
The Blazeman Foundation for ALS and Challenge Atlantic City are thrilled to be able to award “The Spirit of Blazeman” award at this year’s inaugural Challenge Atlantic City. Many athletes have watched the video of Jon competing in Kona at the World Championships back in 2005. Jon was approximately 18 months into ALS at that time as he gave everything he had to finish before the 17hr. cutoff. He did finish and rolled across the finish line as he said he would, to bring attention to a cruel disease with no treatment or cure…
There was another important side to Jonathan Blais …If asked, he would always say…”I am a teacher first” As a special education teacher in San Diego at the Aseltine School, Jon had found his true calling there. Jon focused his energy on helping kids who were emotionally challenged and learning-disabled. This is also where he became better known as “The Blazeman”. Jon did amazing work with his students, bringing his love of sport and the outdoors to these young boys and girls. Through summer recreation programs and outdoor activities, his students learned to overcome obstacles and become stronger through hard work and determination. “The Spirit of Blazeman” award keeps Jon’s memory alive by recognizing an individual who inspires others to become a better person; leads by example; and has a passion for the journey of life.
2014 Spirit of Blazeman winner – Brett Jenner
Who Will Wear #179 in 2014
Kelly has stated that it is her personal mission to raise awareness about the disease of ALS. “After watching Jon’s gutsy performances in both 2005 and 2006, I realized here is a disease that is indiscriminate and devastating no matter the victim. Currently there is only limited on-going research and public awareness (although that is changing thanks to Blazeman Foundation). Not only do I undertake the traditional “Blazeman roll” when crossing the finish line, I have also made the decision to include the number “179″ on the kits for my coaching and race directing company, Sonic Endurance, to additionally spread awareness. Even if our athletes aren’t wearing 179, they’ll always be carrying the number and Jon’s everlasting memory and mission with them as they race.”
The Challenge Atlantic City Triathlon directors, in concert with the Blazeman Foundation are proud to award Kelly Burns Gallagher the honor of wearing #179 at the inaugural USA Challenge Atlantic City Triathlon.