Leading the Way

Racing across Alaska for a cure

Imagine swimming 2.6 miles in 50-degree water. Imagine biking 112 miles fighting wind gusts strong enough to topple you.

Imagine running 27 miles up steep mountains with the threat of bears and moose.

To make it harder, imagine doing all of that in one day.

Now imagine you can’t. No swimming, no biking, no running. You can’t even walk on your own. These are a few of the many challenges that Mackenzie Crawford, son of IT Service Manager Todd Crawford, deals with every day.

Mackenzie suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which affects 1 in 3,500 males. The disease is so rare that getting research funds can be difficult.

“Mackenzie was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy when he was 4 years old,” said Todd. “There were very few days that passed where I was not consumed with fear of Mackenzie not living long enough to graduate high school.”

Over the last few years Todd said he learned to appreciate the influence that Mackenzie has had over others as they watch him fight day after day.

Enter Crawford family friend David Wade, a 3-time Ironman competitor. David saw the courage and determination in Mackenzie and he was inspired to help. He signed up to compete in the Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon on July 15, with more than finishing on his mind: he wanted to make a difference.

He partnered with the Crawfords to start a fundraiser coupled with his race participation. All proceeds from the AlaskaMack Xtreme Triathlon – Swim, Bike, Run to Cure Duchenne will directly benefit CureDuchenne and are tax deductible.

Todd and his family traveled to Alaska to support David as he swam in Resurrection Bay in 49 degree water, biked 112 to Girdwood, Alaska, and ran 27 miles up Mt. Alyeska.

“It was an amazing trip that I was blessed to be able to share with my family and the Wades. I cannot explain how special it makes me feel to have David invest so much of his time and energy into an event to raise awareness and funding for my disease,” said Mackenzie.

You can support the Crawfords and the AlaskaMack Xtreme Triathlon by sharing this story or donating to the CureDuchenne AlaskaMack Event Page to help fund research.

Learn more about David and Mackenzie as they take you through an AlaskaMack Training Day video to showcase the hard work that goes into preparing for the race.