BENTONVILLE (KFSM)-- Early Sunday (Sept. 3) morning, athletes from around the country gathered in Bentonville to test their skills and help find a cure for multiple sclerosis.
Trifest for MS is an event that has been going on for the past six years.
Scott and Jo Rampy first started the event after Scott helped his wife take part in a triathlon of her own.
Jo is affected by MS and said since that first race, Trifest for MS has grown drastically.
She said the people there are not just random athletes, they are something else.
“In the last six years, what I’ve seen and what I’ve lived is that we’ve come closer together," Jo Rampy said. "We’re in our sixth year, we’re now family and family returns, it’s a family reunion.”
Now others who are also affected with MS are taking part in the triathlon themselves and their family continues to grow.
This is the first year Elisabeth Ward took part in a race.
She said she used to work in Colorado with the National MS Society where she met hundreds of people like Jo Rampy.
Ward explained she has seen the disease affect everyone in a different way, which could include fatigue or dizziness.
"It’s not something that you hear about on a daily basis but once you sit down and start talking with people, everybody knows somebody," Ward said.
Going into the weekend, Ward was excited and nervous all at the same time because she didn't know what to expect.
She realized though that what Jo said was true.
"Just really the athletes, just everybody comes together and it went above and beyond any expectation that I could have had," Ward said.
All the money that the Rampys make from registration for the race goes to research doctors at UAMS in Little Rock.
They said they have only had one goal in mind since they started the event six years ago.
“Our short-term goal is to find a cure," Jo Rampy said. "If that happens today or tomorrow, that’s our goal. Let’s cure this.”
So far, Scott Rampy said they have raised $350,000 for their goal.
He said the event and their Rampy MS Resarch Foundation are still fairly young and they do not plan on stopping anytime soon.
Even though the race is over, the Rampys said they are always looking for more donations to reach their goal.
They ask anyone willing to help them can do so at researchms.org.