Race to remember Rodney T. Miller


Decatur's triathlon was held Sunday in honor of a former Illinois State trooper. Rodney Miller was killed in a car accident in 2006. The seventh annual Rodney T. Miller Lakeside Triathlon remembered the All-American swimmer at Millikin University.

"Rodney was a triathlete and he really was surprised that a city the size of Decatur didn't have their own triathlon," his wife Karla Miller said who started the event.

"I felt it was a fitting tribute to him to start one," she said.

And for someone like Jeff Babiak, there couldn't be a more fitting way to welcome 40 years old.

"I like to swim, I like to bike and I like to run," Babiak said.

The day he decided to race in this year's triathlon was the day he turned 40. Coincidentally, that was the same age of Rodney Miller when he died in the line of duty.

"I realize how many people in the community never would have participated in a triathlon if we didn't have it," Karla said.

More than 200 competitors raced Sunday. Each one with a different goal in mind, and for some, it's not about winning, it's about finishing.

"The swim will be to survive the swim and we'll see," said triathlon participant Jill Floyd.

She survived her first marathon just a few months ago but this is a new test.

"That's my main goal is finish," she said.

Floyd finished in first place in her age group. As for Babiak, "I'm not here to try and beat anybody, I'm just here to do it for myself," he said.

He placed third in his age group. So whether its to cross the finish line first or cross a wish off a bucket list, the main goal is to remember Rodney.

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