Fifteen-year-old Bellaire resident Jared Clark placed third in the 16-19 age group at the Draft Legal Sprint World Championship Qualifier in New Orleans on Nov. 6.
His finish qualified him for a spot on Team USA for the draft legal Duathlon event at ITU World Championships Festival which will be held in Penticton, Canada in August 2017. The draft legal duathlon race consisted of a 5K run, a 20K bike and a 2.5K run. Past world championships have hosted thousands of participants from more than 30 countries.
Clark was one of the youngest people in the world to ever complete a 70.3 mile Half ironman-distance race in 2013 when he finished Oilman 70.3 at age 12. He has since completed two additional 70.3-mile races and more than 80 adult multi-sport races including some Xterra (off-road) Triathlons.
He has extra motivation to keep active in multi-sport racing. His family founded the group Justin’s TRIumph, which works in partnership with the non-profit Hannah’s Hope Fund, raising money to find a cure for Giant Axonal Neuropathy (GAN). GAN is a rare, fatal genetic disorder with only 72 kids currently diagnosed worldwide. Two of those children are Jared’s siblings; fraternal twin brother Justin, 15, and younger sister Lexi, 11.
Since the group began in 2013, more than 90 athletes have participated in races for Justin’s TRIumph Reason2Race teams and raised more than $337,000.
These fundraising efforts combined with money raised through GAN galas, concerts and other local events, total a million dollars. These funds have helped launch a clinical trial underway at the National Institute of Health to find a cure for GAN. Justin and Lexi hope to be part of this trial in 2017.
Jared Clark, a sophomore at Bellaire High School and member of Boy Scout Troop 222, just received his Eagle Scout award. In keeping with his love for multi-sport racing, his Eagle Scout project was a Justin’s TRIumph Splash and Dash to encourage children to have a healthy active lifestyle. More than 130 children, ages 7-14, finished the swim/run and his project raised more than $10,000 for GAN.
Clark isn’t the only teenager from the Houston area who qualified for the Worlds, he will be joined by Katelyn Elliott from Porter.
The pair have known each other since sixth grade when they competed on a relay team for the Oilman 70.3 race four years ago (Clark swam 1.2 miles and biked 56 miles and then Elliott ran 13.1 miles). Elliott placed first in her age group at this World Championship Qualifier and third overall and qualified for ITU Draft Legal Sprint World Triathlon Grand Final (http://rotterdam.triathlon.org), which will be in The Netherlands in September 2017.