Aldridge run triathalon to raise funds for CASA

Published 10:47 am Sunday, June 17, 2007

NATCHEZ — Alice Aldridge is going to run, bike and swim 140 miles next Sunday for the Adams County CASA program.

Court Appointed Special Advocate is an organization aimed at helping abused or neglected children.

Aldridge has been in the triathlon business since 2004, and competed in approximately seven races last year.

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She has competed in numerous road races which include 5ks, 10ks and half marathons and one duathlon — cycling and running.

“I just found a sport I really loved,” Aldridge said.

Aldridge has been training since January and has logged 750 miles on her bike since March. She wakes up in the predawn hours to fit in her workouts. Her first marathon will be during her race.

“I am not as nervous about the run and swim as I am about the bike ride,” Aldridge said.

She will fly to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho Wednesday before her race. The race will consist of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. Each event has a time cut off that competitors must meet in order to move on to the next race. There will be over 1,800 competitors that will begin with a mass start.

She completed an Olympic distance triathlon two weeks ago in Ridgeland.

“I did really well in the heat wave, so that has really helped my confidence,” Aldridge said.

Aldridge’s race — the Janus Charity Challenge — is built around donations from community members. Aldridge chose the charity of her choice and registered with the race. Donors can visit an online site — — to view her progress and donate. In this case, the money will go directly to the Adams County CASA program.

Investment management firm Janus will make contributions to the charities of the top race finishers.

In Adams County Ashley Powell is the only staff member of CASA. Currently she has 100 cases she is following through the youth court.

CASA volunteers make recommendations to judges for abused and neglected children. Kids are usually relocated to a safe home or are placed back in their homes after counseling.

“Each case takes up to a year to complete, so I can have a lot of cases at one time,” Powell said.

There are several volunteers that help Powell but it is hard to keep volunteers with such a commitment at hand.

“I ask that volunteers give me at least a year of their time to handle cases,” Powell said.

Due to the rigors of the job, CASA in Adams County has been short on funds and volunteers.

“I liked the aspect of raising money for a charity by participating in a triathlon,” Aldridge said.

She was even more excited to see that she could support a local charity.

“I picked CASA because I wanted to help local children,” Aldridge said.

To raise money for CASA, Aldridge has hosted two garage sales, sent out e-mails and contacted people about donations. All of her online donations are due Thursday, and donations given to her, or to CASA directly can be turned in two weeks after the race.

Donations can be made through the Web site or to the Adams County CASA program, P.O. Box 1371, Natchez, MS 39121.