Fundraiser helps Cowetan return from ‘retirement’
by Chris Goltermann
Training for an Ironman triathlon isn’t exactly out of the ordinary for Darrell Hynson, even if it’s been a year or so since the Arnco Sargent Elementary School Special Education teacher and former East Coweta High varsity swim coach competed both in prestigious events at Kona, Hawaii and Cosumel, Mexico among three major triathlons last year.
But his return from a state of retirement when it came to the activity comes with specific goals in mind.
Hynson recently teamed up with both the RIDE to GIVE program and FOCUS non-profit charities with hopes of raising $5,000 to split between the two while hoping to qualify for the Ironman World Championships for a third time.
The first step toward a return is next year’s Ironman Chattanooga event in September. It will give Hynson a chance to get back on the road as well as in the pool to work himself back into triathlon-shape for the gruelling event including a 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bike ride topped off with a full marathon (26.2-mile run).
After completing last November’s Ironman-Cosumel in 9 hours, 45 minutes, a time that Hynson wasn’t totally pleased with, the 49-year-old thought his triathlon days were over.
“I told my wife I was taking up chip dipping,” he joked. “That lasted about nine months.”
More recently, though, Hynson was introduced to the RIDE to GIVE program by East Coweta Middle School Resource Officer Eddie Kirk, as the group was raising $180,000 for the family of 4-year-old Winder boy Tripp Halstead through a 900-mile bike ride from Atlanta to New York.
When he heard the group would continue raising funds for Halstead as well as at least a dozen other sick children in need, Hynson decided to put a hold on his ‘retirement.’
“When I heard about the race in Tennessee and the opportunity to try and raise some money for two great charities I decided to race once again and to once again try to claim and spot in Kona,” he said.
Hynson’s work as a teacher of special needs led him to add FOCUS among his fundraising benefactors. The non-profit helps families cope with the struggles of parenting a child with special needs.
“I’m lucky to be able to work with families who have children with special needs and I’ve seen the stress they’ve had,” he said. ‘Helping to raise money is just one way I can try and help make a difference in some of their lives.”
Hynson has set up a webpage for his fundraising efforts through fundrazr.com, where a search for “Hynson” will link to his page.
“My goal is to get as many people as I can to contribute to these charities,” said Hynson. “Whatever they can. It all adds up in the end.”