The Ken Caputo Volunteer Service Award is presented annually to a special volunteer at each of the JUST TRYAN IT triathlons. Ken Caputo was a volunteer who was notorious for his hard work, huge smile and even bigger hugs. Ken knew race day was all about the kids. He would encourage racers and inspire volunteers with his enthusiasm and can-do spirit. We are thrilled to announce the 2021 Ken Caputo Award Winners, Kokotowa Ahmadu in Bethesda and Avanesh Vijayakumar in Chapel Hill.

Kokotowa Ahmadu (Koko)
Kokotowa Ahmadu (Koko)Bethesda

Kokotowa Ahmadu (Koko) showed up on a chilly Sunday morning in Bethesda and was asked to assist swimmers in the pool. Without hesitation, he jumped right in. Leeny Oberg, a fellow pool volunteer said, “Koko, from Landon, was amazing. He literally carried the last racer, who was very frightened about the swim, across the pool, treading water and encouraging them the whole way!”

Koko is a junior at Landon and somewhat of a triathlete himself as a football, basketball and rugby player. In addition to all of the work on the field, he still finds time to volunteer with A Wider Circle and DC area food banks. His interest in JUST TRYAN IT was piqued when he heard about kids racing for other kids. He was moved by the stories of the cancer families we support.

Koko hopes to go to college in California to study Physical Therapy so that he can continue to help those who have been injured or who are recovering from surgery. He definitely displayed great “bedside manner” at the race and JUST TRYAN IT was lucky to have him as a race day volunteer. and we know he will be successful with what ever he chooses to do in the future. Thank you and congratulations, Koko!.

Avanesh Vijayakumar
Avanesh VijayakumarChapel Hill

Avanesh Vijayakumar (Avy) signed up to volunteer to set-up for the Chapel HIll Race. He enjoyed it so much that he asked if he could come back and volunteer on race day as well! “He was one of those kids who was always there when you needed him and happy to help in any way,” said Bike Captain, Frank Bianco. Avy loved cheering on all the kids in the home stretch of the race. He wanted to help push them to achieve their goal and finish the race. He said, “by far my favorite part of the experience was race day. The day everything came together and I got to see all these kids coming to help cancer patients.”

Avanesh is a sophomore at the Enloe Magnet High School where he is part of the MBSA (Medical Bioscience Academy) program. He loves to learn and to solve problems. He shares his math knowledge with others as a tutor. He is part of the swim team and during his summers he gives swim lessons to little kids this life saving skill. Avy is interested in medical neuroscience technology and is fascinated by the complexity of the brain. He would like to pursue a career in neurosurgery when he grows up. JUST TRYAN IT was grateful to have Avy and his generosity and enthusiasm be a part of race day. Thank you and congratulations, Avanesh

A Special Note of Thanks

JUST TRYAN IT is fortunate to have several sponsors who have supported our races for five or more years at the Silver level or higher. These organizations have helped JUST TRYAN IT grow and raise over 4 mililion dollars over the past 12 years.