One-woman triathlon to raise money for Gold Star families

PORT ANGELES — A 51-year-old special education kindergarten teacher has set herself a monumental feat of endurance to help families enduring monumental grief.

Amy DelaBarre, who has taught in the Port Angeles School District for 25 years, plans a Tri for Joe on Saturday, a triathlon of 2.4 miles swimming, 56 miles biking and 13.1 miles running to raise money to help cover expenses of Gold Star families who will visit the Captain Joseph House once it is completed.

The Captain Joseph House Foundation was founded by Betsy Schultz in memory of her only child, Captain Joseph Schultz, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on May 29, 2011. Once the remodeling of Schultz’ former bed-and-breakfast is completed, families who have lost loved ones in military action will be able to use it as a free respite — the first such program in the nation.

Schultz said that DelaBarre has worked as a volunteer with the Captain Joseph Foundation for several years.

“She said, ‘I just want to do something that is different, that makes a difference, and I want to hurt a little bit because Gold Star families are hurting,’ ” Schultz said Wednesday.

DelaBarre is grateful her son returned safe this year from a tour of duty as a Marine, Schultz said.

The 71.5-mile triathlon will begin at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, when DelaBarre begins her swim in Lake Sutherland and will end between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Captain Joseph House when she finishes the run.

The public is invited to donate to the one-woman event on the Captain Joseph House Foundation Facebook page — the goal is $5,000 — and also to welcome DelaBarre as she returns to the Captain Joseph House at 1108 S. Oak St. in Port Angeles.

She will be running south on Oak Street from Eighth Street.

Poster paper and felt pens will be available if visitors want to make posters to greet DelaBarre at the end of her triathlon, Schultz said. They can arrive at 3:30 p.m. to make them, if wanted.

Lemonade and cookies will be available.

Although the triathlon is a one-woman event, DelaBarre will have support.

Her husband, Garret, will accompany her on the swim in a kayak. Schultz’ sister, Mary Jo Koepke of Auburn — who also serves on the foundation board — will run with DelaBarre during the half-marathon. Retired Pacer County Sheriff Shirley Cox will ride a bicycle as she provides supplies for the runners. Tom Michowski, owner of the Bike Garage in Port Angeles, will offer supplies during the bicycling portion of the event.

DelaBarre has completed one marathon, five triathlons, multiple half marathons and summited Mount Rainier twice, according to Schultz.


Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at

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