By Bruce Pierson, Rehab Services Manager at Riverside Medical Center
I am proud to tell you about a person who has been committed improving health in the Waupaca community and making the best possible Waupaca Area Triathlon. Dean Sondrol, physical therapist and clinical lead at Riverside Medical Center for the past 19 years, has been involved with developing and improving the triathlon since it began 14 years ago. Dean serves as the course director and a member of the Board of Directors. The triathlon has grown from 450 participants to a capped limit of 1,500, and has expanded from one route to three different categories. ThedaCare and Riverside Medical Center are Gold Sponsors for the race.
Dean has a lot of personal race experience and has run many marathons including the Boston Marathon. He draws on this experience when designing the course layout and also when he works with his physical therapy patients.
Dean works through the year on the Triathlon Board of Directors for planning and management. Dean’s work extends to pre-race volunteer training and appreciation, physical set up of the run and bike courses, and he’s the “Go-To-Fix-It” person for 300 volunteers, 1,500 triathletes and of course, families and supporters. Dean’s association with Scout Troop 634 provides more volunteers for the work as well as learning opportunities for the Scouts. Throughout all this work, he is a positive representative for ThedaCare.
For the 2014 race, Dean had to redesign the South Park lane routes and fencing structure to work with the wonderful, new South Park Pavilion in Waupaca. Post-race interviews of triathletes were very positive about the park changes, swim-to-bike routes, and repositioning the long course bike portion of the race.
Dean even convinced 11 of his family members to help on race weekend!
I want to personally thank Dean for his ideas, enthusiasm and can-do attitude to serve our community and the hospital.