It was the 35th year for the San Luis Obispo Triathlon on Sunday, July 27 at Sinsheimer Park/SLO Swim Center in San Luis Obispo.
The sprint triathlon consisted of a 0.5 mile swim, 15 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. Participants were sent on the course in waves throughout the day. Around 1,000 people participated.
Among those participants, Team Joseph. There was a lot of love, support and cheering for Joseph Cornelius. A father-son duo with around 100 races under their belt including 6 full marathons.
20-year-old Joseph Cornelius has cerebral palsy, and can’t walk or talk but thanks to the invention of three Cal Poly students, the Aquabullet, he could feel like he’s swimming. The senior project made the 2014 SLO Triathlon a possibility for Joseph.
Joseph’s father, John Cornelius said, “He was laughing and smiling. This is his time where he’s at peace because his body fights him a lot. He loves motion.”
One of the students involved in the project, Cal Poly mechanical engineering student Paul Sands, said “This is incredible to be part of it. To see my project, the fulfillment of it and to be part of it with the team, especially since it’s the first time we’re using it and it’s the first time. It’s been so fun.”
Marci Mora, in on the Team Joseph running team, Mora said, “We’ve done marathons in the past but this is the first time as a triathlon and it’s going fantastic.”
With each leg of the race there were hugs, cheering, and some tears.
Several swimmers took turns swimming the 18 laps, which add up to half-a-mile.
The last time, a 3.1 mile run had one of the largest teams, 17 runners.
John said, “It’s one of the best things in the world we’ve ever done. Better than we have every imagined.”
Team Joseph crossed the finish line.
John’s first thought after crossing the finish line, “How proud I am of Joseph. I just love him so much. He had a great day.”
John said “It’s a change of his whole life, it really is. He loves the water and now we can get in the water all the time.”