Each year the little town of Mt. Gretna is visited by hundreds of triathletes for the annual Got the Nerve? Triathlon all to support the IM Able Foundation. Now in its 15th year, the race is stronger than ever bringing in athletes from 19 states.

The Got the Nerve? Triathlon is a race for everyone. Over two hours athletes take part in a 500 yard lake swim, 16 mile bike and a 5k road race before finishing in front of Mt. Gretna Lake.

The race is one of the main fundraisers for the Wyomissing based IM Able Foundation. Founded by Chris Kaag, the IM Able foundation is dedicated to removing obstacles that prevent people affected by disabilities from being physically active by providing grants, resources and fitness opportunities.

Got the Nerve athletes pose for photos as they walk down to the lake to start the race.

A lot has happened over the past 15 years, but it all started with a selfless vision to help others. Thousands of people have raced in and volunteered for the triathlon over the years. Speaking with us about the race Kaag said he was very appreciative of everyone who has helped. However, there are a few moments he told us that will always be special to him.

Back in 2004, Kaag met a young kid who was eager to compete in his first triathlon. That kid was Andrew Yoder, who has since become a professional triathlete. Yoder now owns his own triathlon coaching business and continues to help new Got the Nerve athletes prepare for the race.

(2017) Andrew Kern crosses the finish line with a poster that reads “I have Parkinson’s, it doesn’t have me”.

Another one of Kaag’s proudest moments was in 2015 with hand cycle grant recipient, Dan Webb. Paralyzed from a hunting accident, Webb completed the swim and bike portion of the triathlon with his sister in law finishing the run.

100 yards before the finish she stopped to let Webb stand up and finish the race using an exoskeleton.

“I saw him come across the finish line and I broke down, here’s a guy who’s always in a wheel chair walking across the finish line, it took a lot of courage and it’s something I won’t forget.” – Kaag