Teenager Keeps Mother’s Memory Alive with Triathlon


She was in eighth grade when she decided to start a triathlon in memory of her mother.

Now Talia Yaakoby is in 11th grade and this June will be the fourth Annual Kristie Yaakoby Memorial Triathlon.

It all started with a project in her leadership class.

“We had to do a community project, and I knew I wanted to do something to honor my mom,” Talia says.

The idea for a triathlon came while looking through some family photos.

“Originally it was going to be a run, and then I came across these triathlon photos of my mom,” Talia says. “She was this incredibly athletic woman, first triathlon she won it—didn’t know she won it. After my dad told me that anecdote, I knew a triathlon would be the proper way to honor her.”

Talia turned to her fifth and sixth grad teacher at Leland Public Schools, Karen Kirt, for help.

Talia says Kirt had always been an avid runner in charge of Girls on Track, Girls on the Run and is a cross country coach. Now together, they make the race a reality every year.

Yaakoby’s goal is twofold: raise money for cancer research—and keep the memory of her mother, Kristie Yaakoby, alive.

To learn more about the race, how to enter or sponsor, go to their website at tri4kristie.com.

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