GRASS LAKE, Mich. - A group of local women are training for a triathlon -- and much more.
They are honoring a triathlete who was killed when a vehicle struck her as she rode a bicycle in Lima Township about two years ago.
Karen McKeachie was 63 when she was killed. She was an eight-time Iron Man competitor who started organizing and running triathlons in Metro Detroit with her husband, Lou Kidder, decades ago.
"We always set it up so the women's wave went first. They were far enough ahead so that a woman led the whole way, and was the first to cross the finish line and that was important for her," Kidder said.
Now, athletes she cheered on are joining together to not only race, but also to continue the sisterhood she created and bring change.
Mary Jaeger, Barb Figurski and Catherine Juon are training for this weekend's Tri Goddess Tri while leading a public campaign to build a paved, nonmotorized trail, Karen's Trail, that follows the Huron River from its entry in Washtenaw County, near Pickney, until its exit in Wayne County, near Belleville.
"We want to feel safe; everyone wants to feel safe. But we can't predict what a driver of a car might do, or a phone call they might answer when they shouldn't be answering," Jaeger said.
With their mentor McKeachie gone, the women are helping and encouraging other women.
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