This past Friday I had the pleasure to meet Laura DeMeo of Brielle. Laura's going to be taking on the Iron Man Triathlon.

You’ve probably seen what all is involved.

A grueling swim, bike ride, and topped off with the running of a marathon.

This years event involves a 140.6-mile race including a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River, a 112-mile bike ride on the Palisades Parkway in Bergen and Rockland counties and a 26.2-mile run beginning in New Jersey and finishing in Riverside Park in Manhattan.

I often wonder what drives people to take on such an enormous challenge. More often than not, it's to raise awareness for a cause such as beating cancer or some other catastrophic illness.

According to this:

Laura has partnered with Showerman of Manalapan to raise money for charity as she trains for Iron Man.

DeMeo of Brielle has been competing in triathlons for 10 years. She has traveled to seven Iron Man competitions, including Hawaii.

When DeMeo found out New York City would hold its first Iron Man triathlon, she couldn't pass up an opportunity to compete in her own backyard.

The Brielle athlete recently ran a half marathon which she said she trained very little for, and she ended up coming in sixth in her age group.

And this time around, she decided she would compete to raise money for charity.

"I thought I would coordinate with Showerman, and build their logo while raising money for a few charities."

Showerman is a custom frameless shower door store in Manalapan, with a squeaky clean superhero as its logo.

"It's a super hero type thing she is doing," Mark Balaban, President of Showerman said. "It's something that, out of billions of people, only a few people are capable of."

DeMeo is competing to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation, Kick Cancer Overboard and the I Will Foundation.

And I’m sure she will….but she’s not the only one from Jersey.

According to this:

This particular team is in part inspired by one of its members — John Hyland.

According to one of the coordinators… “In April of 2010, Hyland’s connection to LLS strengthened greatly, when he was diagnosed with AML (acute myelogenous leukemia). Before being diagnosed, John was quite the athlete having completed eight Ironman races,” she said. “When presented with the opportunity to race again in one of these events while raising money for the charity that helped save his life, John immediately made his commitment.”

The team also is participating in memory of Kayla Defeo. Born in Trenton in 2004, Kayla moved to Mount Laurel in 2005 and was diagnosed at age 2 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and in 2006, relapsed at age 4. On Sept. 7, 2011, at age 7, Kayla lost her battle.
One of the team’s members is Morris County resident Guy Adami, from CNBC’s “Fast Money.”

“I decided to participate because life is not a dress rehearsal and I think our team can truly make a difference,” Adami said.

Good luck to all the competitors!