Esprit de She 2

By Kathryn Menue


BELVIDERE – Losing a parent is one of the many sufferings a person can go through in life, and losing a parent at a young age presents an extra hardship that no child should have to endure.

Despite the despairing hurt of losing their mother, three young women honor their mother each year through a triathlon that represents hope, beauty, longevity, strength, sisterhood, womanhood, athleticism, and the overall appreciation of life.

Belvidere natives, Mary Kate McGady, 22, and her sisters Rebecca, 25, and Nina, 33, compete each year in the GildanEspirt de She Naperville Triathlon to celebrate their mother, Dale McGady, who sadly died at Christmas time in 1999 from ovarian cancer.

This year marks an especially celebratory year since this year’s Gildan Esprit de She Naperville Triathlon falls on their mother’s birthday, June 14. Mary Kate indicated that the triathlon is usually around their mother’s birthday, or at least in the same month, but this year is extra special since it is actually on her birthday.

“I am so ecstatic that this triathlon is scheduled on my mother’s birthday this year and cannot wait to do it with my sisters,” Mary Kate said.

According to Lindsey Sachs, the director of the Gildan Esprit de She Triathlon, the event became a part of the Gildan series in 2013, when Lifetime Fitness took over the event.

The Naperville Triathlon has been around since 2002.

The Gildan series is a nationwide series where only women are allowed to participate. The Naperville event is one of the largest of the 19 Gildan series events with over 2000 women registered this year and 30 percent of them being first time participants.

To learn more about the Gildan Esprit de She triathlons, please visit:

“It has a really rich history,” said Sachs. Each year the history grows with more women participating to support ovarian cancer research and to support womanhood.

When women register for the Gildan Esprit de She Triathlon they receive a $64 value piece to train and race in, a commemorative race medal with a removable charm, food, and time to celebrate.

Nina first found this triathlon after competing in different races and triathlons that mostly brought awareness to breast cancer.

“I was searching for races that would benefit ovarian cancer,” Nina said. She finally found it with the Gildan Esprit de She Naperville Triathlon.  After competing on her own, her younger sisters Rebecca and Mary Kate followed in her footsteps to honor their mother.

Women must be 18 years of age or older to compete in the triathlon. Since, Mary Kate turned 18 five years ago, she hasn’t missed a race.

Mary Kate loves to go each year to celebrate her mother.

“It’s like a big party,” Mary Kate said.

Nina said that they have a lot of special tributes to make the day a celebration. The Gildan Esprit de She Naperville Triathlon does a survivors wave, has a remembrance announcement for the loved ones who have died from ovarian cancer, and emits a positive atmosphere for all the female runners.

The triathlon also features a fundraiser for ovarian cancer research and is great for bringing awareness about the signs and options for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Nina said that many women don’t recognize the signs and are diagnosed too late, like her mother, who was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed in late 1998 and died mid December 1999 at the age of 41.

“Awareness is huge!” Nina said. Mary Kate, Rebecca, and Nina were all thrilled they could help bring awareness about ovarian cancer through this triathlon in honor of their mother.

“She was like a firecracker,” Rebecca said about her mother. “She was meticulous, caring, and family centered.”

“She loved her family and she was very religious,” Nina added. “God was a big part of her life.”

To show the world how much Dale McGady meant to them, Mary Kate, Rebecca, and Nina, all made shirts that they wear the day before the race and during registration.

“My mom was so brave God made her an angel,” reads the shirts that each of them wear. The back has a picture of their mother and father and the dates of Dale’s birth and death.

Even Mary Kate’s best friend made her own T-shirt in support of Dale and runs with the three sisters during the triathlon.

“It’s a good tribute to her [Dale],” Mary Kate said. “She was real active and it’s a nice way to honor her.”

Nina said that their mother was pretty health conscious and that they would all go on bike rides together to stay active.

After each triathlon, consisting of a ½ mile swim, a 14 mile run, and a three mile bike ride, the three sisters all come together to enjoy their mother’s favorite snack together: Cheetos and Reese’s pieces, and to celebrate the life that was Dale McGady.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.