Ostomy United is a triathlon team made up of ostomates and their supporters, created for the purpose of inspiring and empowering those living with an ostomy. Their motto is, “THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN’T DO!!!”
Since March, 2015, Ostomy United has grown from a single team in Seattle, Washington to seven affiliate teams representing Florida, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania.
Ostomy United’s First “Tri-osto-lete” Of The Season
Greg Kalt from Ostomy United-Connecticut became the first team member to compete in an Ironman triathlon this season. The Subaru IRONMAN Mont-Tremblant was held on August 21, 2016 at the internationally renowned Mont-Tremblant ski village nestled in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec, Canada. The race starts with a 2.4-mile (3.8 km) swim in Lac Tremblant, followed by a two-loop, 112-mile bike course and ends with a two-loop, 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run course. Greg finished with a time of 15:51:05. In May, 2010 Greg was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and had colostomy surgery as part of his treatment.
Seeing my family as I finished brought me to tears (of joy!).
My kids now believe me that anything is possible. - Greg Kalt
“The Quest For Iron”
In the last event of Ostomy United's season, Founder Ted Vosk competed at the Ironman Wisconsin in Madison on September 11, 2016. The race began with a one-loop 2.4-mile swim at Lake Monona in downtown Madison. Next up, the brutal 112-mile bike course (which the race is known for) takes riders 16 miles out of town and then into a two 40-mile loops through rural Dane County. It ends with a 26-mile marathon through the University of Wisconsin campus, Camp Randall Stadium, State Street and a scenic path alongside Lake Mendota. Ted finished with a time of 15:06:12.
I have done everything possible to prepare for this challenge. I will compete with joy. Joy for being alive, and for having the honor of representing the ostomy community. THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN’T DO!!! – Ted Vosk
Many Ostomy United supporters were cheering along the sidelines including one young ostomate, Nic, from Wisconsin who had never met another person with an ostomy before meeting Ted.
Homeless during his late teens, Ted developed ulcerative colitis while living on the streets. He changed the direction of his life and graduated with honors at Eastern Michigan University. Just days after graduation, Ted had colostomy surgery when the disease became life threatening, which was later reversed before beginning law school at Cornell University. Years later, Ted developed Crohn’s disease and made the decision to have ileostomy surgery in January, 2012.
“Without the ostomy, I never would have done these things … I would have been dead. It’s okay to be afraid, there is no courage without fear. You must determine the course of your life, though. Events may knock you down, but failure is not the result of being knocked down… it’s a consequence of not getting back up. The secret to overcoming the obstacles before us and living the life that we dream, is to NEVER QUIT!” — Ted Vosk