2010-07-15 / Front Page

Islander to complete triathlon

By Holly Benton

Islander Keith Jobin, 26, looks forward to competing in the tenth annual Nautica New York City triathlon this Sunday, July 18, as a member of the Leukemia Lymphoma team.

“It’s about giving back to the community,” he said. “I’ve always been interested in someday doing a triathlon, and thought what better way to do one than to give back to the community and help save lives?”

The annual triathlon, an Olympic-distance race that more than 3,000 athletes from 44 states and 23 countries participate in annually, is expected to raise more than $2 million for assorted charities – including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Jobin, a Roger Williams University graduate and an avid athlete since his days running cross country for North Kingstown High School, said he’s looking forward to the triathlon, which consists of a one-mile swim, a 26-mile bike ride and a six-mile run.

Joining the 40-member Leukemia Lymphoma team this spring, Jobin has fully immersed himself in training – which has quickly intensified.

“We trained three days a week in the beginning,” he said. “Saturdays, biking, Sundays, running and Mondays, swimming. Once we started getting close to the initial time, we started to amp up the training time. It went from an eight-mile run to a 14-mile run, a 10-mile bike ride to a 35-mile bike ride and 1,200 meters to 2,000 meters in the pool.”

Running all through high school – as well as during his time spent earning two associate degrees at the Community College of Rhode Island and Daniel Webster College in Nashua, N.H. – ensured that the running portion of the triathlon would prove fairly easy for Jobin.

Swimming however, turned out to require a bit more effort and focus.

“I didn’t swim or bike in high school, I just ran,” Jobin said. “I had to get in shape. It wasn’t easy to learn initially. I spent a lot of time in the pool. Perseverance and dedication – I had to see this thing through. I stuck to my game plan.”

He hopes to finish the race, which begins at 5:50 a.m., in less than three hours. The course includes swimming in the Hudson River, biking along Manhattan’s West Side Highway and running through Central Park.

Jobin said he plans to keep in mind the struggles that those who have battled cancer have endured. He will wear a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society singlet during the running portion.

“One thing that’s really important to me is that in my running portion of the event, I’m going to be wearing a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society singlet,” he said. “Anyone who made any kind of donation was able to sign a person’s name on my shirt – anyone who has passed away from cancer, is currently battling cancer or has survived cancer. And that was a way to honor that person in their donation. There are 40 or 50 names on the singlet, covering the front and back. It will be an inspiration to me to keep on pushing when it gets difficult.”

Jobin himself will run in memory of his late uncle, who passed away in 2000 at the age of 38 from myeloma, a form of blood cancer.

With blood cancers – including leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma – causing the deaths of an estimated 53,240 people in the U.S. each year and an estimated 9.5% of total cancerrelated deaths in 2009, Jobin feels strongly about the cause for which he has put such effort into raising funds. He has raised more than $3,600 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

A fundraiser held in May at Fitzpatrick’s Irish Pub in Cranston, which Jobin said consisted of pie-eating, limbo and hulahooping contests, raised more than $600.

“It was a fun, wonderful time,” Jobin said. “The winners in the pie-eating contest received iPod Nanos. All of the benefit and proceeds went to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.”

Jobin expressed his gratitude toward the Jamestown community for what he called their “incredible” donations and support.

“I’d like to thank the Jamestown community for all of their support,” he said. “I went business to business, door to door, and a lot of people donated. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to be where I am.”

To donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and support those who are battling blood cancer, visit www.leukemia-lymphoma. org.

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