Northwestern Press

Sunday, August 19, 2018
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Northwestern Lehigh graduate Emily Bartlett CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Northwestern Lehigh graduate Emily Bartlett
CONTRIBUTED PHOTONorthwestern Lehigh graduate Emily Bartlett recently competed in her first triathlon. CONTRIBUTED PHOTONorthwestern Lehigh graduate Emily Bartlett recently competed in her first triathlon.

Bartlett finds meaningful career at LLS

Thursday, February 8, 2018 by TODD KRESS tkress@tnonline.com in Sports

Emily Bartlett wanted to stay active after her days playing college soccer at Millersville University.

She also wanted to pursue a career that was meaningful to her and one in which she could make a difference in the world.

So, the former Northwestern Tiger combined the two. After graduating from Millersville, Bartlett moved to California to take a full-time position with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. There, she serves as a member of Team in Training, a sports endurance program that trains athletes for events and helps raise funds for cancer research.

“I always kind of thought that I wanted to do something that is meaningful to me, and I wanted to make a difference in the world to some degree,” Bartlett said. “I really just fell in love with the organization. We do have a close family friend who lost his battle to leukemia and a number of other cancer connections, so it just hit home.”

Bartlett first completed an internship at LLS, and after she worked at the non-profit organization as a temp she was offered a full-time position. She couldn’t say no.

“It was a great way to stay active and make an involvement,” Bartlett said. “If I’m coaching people how to fund raise, I should be fundraising myself. It makes you better at your job, too, when you’re doing it firsthand.”

Team in Training has been around for 30 years and his raised over a billion dollars that goes toward cancer research and patient assistance. This past summer, Bartlett participated in her first event with the organization.

Bartlett placed fourth in her age division—females aged 20-24 years old—in a time of 2:37.04 at the San Diego International Triathlon. It was her first time ever participating in a triathlon.

“That was my first triathlon, so I had no experience and I didn’t really know what to expect,” Bartlett said. “In my mind it was just to finish the race. That was what I wanted to accomplish. And I actually did fairly well for my first time.”

When the near three-hour race got tough, she always had one thought in the back of her mind. A thought that she had when she joined LLS.

“When I was struggling, it was really in the back of my mind that I’m doing this for people who can’t,” Bartlett said. “There are people that are going through chemo every day and terrible, horrible diseases, so I can get through my race. It’s kind of like a constant motivator in that aspect.”

The funds raised go toward not just finding a cure for cancer, but also help for those patients that deal with it on a daily basis, such as doctor visit and prescription copays and travel assistance programs.

“In return we are fundraising for cancer research,” Bartlett said. “It predominantly goes to cancer research, but the other portion of it goes to patient assistance. It’s really based heavily on access for patients, as well as research for finding better treatments and a cure.”

If triathlons are a bit too much for the average athlete, there are a number of events they can participate in. All have one common theme—raising awareness and funds for cancer.

“It’s like our sports endurance fundraising,” Bartlett said. “You can sign up for anything from a 5K to a full marathon, a sprint to a full ironman assisted triathlon cycling events and hiking events.”

As if a triathlon wasn’t enough of a challenge for the soccer player turned endurance runner, Bartlett is embarking on a new challenge this summer. She is training for a half ironman event this June, which will be held at the Pacific Crest Endurance Festival in Sun River, Oregon.

The challenge in front of her will be a total of 72.3 miles—a 58-mile bike ride, a 13.1-mile run and a 1.2-mile swim. It’s labeled the “Beast Man” event, which needs little explanation considering the race plans to take Bartlett seven or eight hours to complete.

“From Day 1, everyone that I trained with was like, ‘Yeah, you’ll do a half ironman.’ And I was like ‘absolutely not. I haven’t even made it through my first triathlon,’” Bartlett said. “And here I am, I just signed up for a half ironman distance.”

Bartlett will also be competing in a 26-mile bike ride the day before her half ironman, and then a 5k race on Sunday to close out Team in Training’s special weekend in Oregon.

Anyone who would like to donate to Team in Training and help Bartlett reach her goal, can find her fundraising page here at http://pages.teamintraining.org/ocie/paccrstr18/EBartlett.