Odelay Bagels is helping an Ahwatukee athlete raise money as he prepares for a grueling triathlon late this month.
Chuck Banaszewski will ride his trainer bike in front of the bagel shop, 12020 S. Warner Elliot Loop from 7 a.m. to noon both Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10, to raise money for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Phoenix Children’s Hospital also is one of the charities designated as a recipient of whatever money the ProjectDM extreme triathlon raises from participants and their supporters when it is held June 24 at Roosevelt Lake.
To call ProjectDM extreme may be an understatement.
Banaszewski, who has finished three Ironman races and other prominent endurance competitions, said only four participants have finished ProjectDM in the last three years and “I plan to be number five.” Eighteen athletes have so far signed up for the race at projectdm.com
The race consists of a 2.4-mile swim in Roosevelt Lake starting at 4:30 a.m., then an uphill 126.5-mile bike ride from Roosevelt Lake to Flagstaff and finishes with a 26.4-mile run/hike to Snowbowl.
He’ll be swimming in the dark, biking to Flagstaff in summer heat.
Then, Banaszewski said, “I will summit to the top of Mt. Humphries Peak (12,633-foot elevation) and back down to the finish line.
An assistant professor at Grand Canyon University, Banaszewski, 46, said he’s doing this race “to raise as much money as possible to support” Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
“My first daughter five years ago spent the first three days of her life in the NICU at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and this race is giving me an opportunity to say thank you and to help children get the best chance at life,” the father of three said.
His stint at Odelay is the bakery’s latest of many activities that owner Ryan Probst sponsors to support charitable endeavors
People can contribute in person this weekend at the bagel shop and meet the man who intends to finish the triathlon.They also can go to projectdm.com and submit their donations through the fundraising link.
Banaszewski said he eats at Odelay four or five times a week and also relies on a pumpernickle bagel with honey and peanut butter when he’s in a race. He also said Probst’ most recent bike sale to help the disabled gav him the idea for this weekend’s fundraiser.
ProjectDM is designed to “physically and mentally challenge even the best athletes,” the its website states, adding that while the entire course is “very scenic,” “the second and most important vision for Project DM is to help others in the process.”
“I have prepared physically and mentally the best I can,” Banaszewski said, event though “none of my past race experiences can really compare.”