Tri for Love—Man Swims, Bikes, Runs to Help Save Lives

Swim. Bike. Run.

For young adult pastor John Ramira, these three verbs can be summed up in one: love.

The 33-year-old plans to compete in the Beach2Battleship IRON Distance Triathlon on Oct. 26—swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles in honor of his friend David Cardwell, who died during a climbing accident in 2008.

The race, which takes place in Wilmington, NC, also serves as a fundraiser for surgeries in Iraq.

John, a former marine stationed in Iraq in 2003, found us through word-of-mouth—some friends suggested he listen to Jeremy’s TED talk in Baghdad, and he did.

“I checked out [PLC’s] website, read all the info, watched all the videos and said, ‘Yes! This is how we can help this country heal,’” John wrote in an email. “I was captured by the idea of love that jumps ahead to meet the hard things in the lives of those around you.  It’s quite risky, difficult, and surprising.”

John met David in 2005, when the two went climbing together for the first time.

save lives on the frontlines of war

“[David] was lanky, strong, and approached the rock fearlessly,” John wrote on his website. “Many times it was just me and him hiking out to these crags and we’d talk about God, faith, what heaven would be like.  We’d talk about doing adventure races and triathlons.”

When David passed away after his 20th birthday, John read David’s bucket list written on a slip of paper for the first time—and saw number two: “Ironman Triathlon.”

“As soon as I saw that, I knew was going to check off one more thing on [my own] bucket list,” John wrote. “I think of him every time I train and I race.”

John said he would have recommended David apply for an internship with PLC, and that he hopes our work “ignites other movements of preemptive love not just in this region but wherever people hear about what you are doing.”

You can help ignite these other movements! To read more of John’s story or donate toward his race, click here.