These 15 children and a few others that weren’t able to make the portrait session are absolutely inspiring. Along with family, friends and the many dedicated individuals at UCP Cleveland, they push their bodies to reach new limits on a daily basis. I’ve had the privilege of photographing them receiving therapy sessions at the UCP office in Cleveland and on the triathlon course over several of the past Augusts. Yes – the triathlon course. If I didn’t know better I would say that UCP takes over the Cleveland Triathlon each August. These children, their families and friends get up before the sun rises, trek into downtown Cleveland and then swim, bike and run the urban triathlon course that snakes it’s way from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame onto the Shoreway and then back again. Many of them take part in all aspects of the race – walking, being pushed in the run, being pulled on the cycling portion, some pedaling along and even being pulled in rafts during the swim. It’s pretty awesome to see and be a part of.
As I finished editing my triathlon pictures from this year I really started to notice what athletes these children have become. Three years ago, I shot my first triathlon and that’s given me a chance to see how much each one of them has grown. So many are walking the course now, actively pedaling on the bike portion, and crossing the finish line on their own. I felt they needed to shine in some portraits off the course that showed off their amazing personalities. With help from the great team at UCP Cleveland a two day portrait session was set up. Every family that could take part did take part, but none of them have seen the photos yet. This evening UCP is kicking off the 2013 Triathlon with a reception downtown. Each of the pictures below has been printed as a 11″ x 14″ print and placed in the hall. That will be the first time they see the results. I can’t wait to hear what they think!
I’m looking forward to spending another August morning with these children and their families. The date is already on my calendar!