Crazy for a good cause, UW grads take on Ironman

October 4, 2010

By Paige Collins

Best friends and University of Washington graduates Buddy Waddington and Kurtis Dane are putting their strength and persistence to the test with the hope of raising $10,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The crazy part?

They aspire to complete the Ford Ironman Arizona 2010 on Nov. 21, with no triathlon experience as of yet. An Ironman is the ultimate test of endurance, according to the team, with a 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run, all in a row.

Waddington, of Newcastle, described the plan as a “self-appointed senior project,” in which they could use their marketing skills as business students to raise the money and the extra time they had as college students to train.

“Why don’t we do a crazy college thing and do it for a good cause?” he said.

Dane, of Renton, said he sees the project as a way to mark the completion of college with positive memories.

“A lot of the time, people will look back on their college career and think of drunken nights,” he said. “I want to look back and think that I accomplished something in my college years.”

The team, going by the name BudandKurt, aims to represent the local area in supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alaska, Montana, Northern Idaho and Washington. Their target, $10,000, is enough to grant wishes to two children with life-threatening medical conditions, Waddington said.

So far, they have raised just under $1,000 and are beginning their first real push for donations and sponsorships.

Sponsors will have their logo displayed on both the official BudandKurt uniforms during the Ironman, as well as the training clothes they will wear before the race. Individuals are encouraged to donate as well.

“We want our community not just to donate but to become a part of the team and the movement,” Waddington said.

While the team has yet to participate in a triathlon, Waddington and Dane ran a marathon together in under four hours and completed the Seattle to Portland bicycle ride in one day this past July. Their swimming experience is limited at best, however, with the LA Fitness swimming pool in Renton being their only place of training so far, Dane reported.

“Swimming is scary,” Waddington said. “Running is definitely our strong spot, but Kurt is doing really well swimming wise.”

Battling shin splints and other injuries, they both train seven days a week for two to four hours each day, Dane said. Doctors tell him to rest, but he’s not capable, he said.

Best friends since high school, the two graduated from the University of Washington together in June, and rather than entering the corporate world are following their dream to build their own small company. Working with another friend, Tyler Smith, they built TBK Consulting, a marketing and consulting firm that focuses on social media marketing.

As for the Ironman, both Waddington and Dane know that they have picked a difficult race, but they embrace the challenge, adding that it is worth the effort to support their community.

“It’s definitely pretty nuts, almost stupid,” Waddington said. “But we want to show that we can make a change by doing something a little crazy and out of our comfort zone.”

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