Cowboy UP! Triathlon returns in early August

Levi Mason crosses the finishline in a previous Matt Mason Cowboy UP! Triathlon in honor of his father, Matt Mason, who was a Kearney graduate and Navy SEAL killed in action in Afghanistan in 2011. This year's triathlon is Sunday, Aug. 4.

SMITHVILLE — The Matt Mason Memorial Cowboy UP! Triathlon returns at 7 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at Crow's Creek Campground at Smithville Lake, 5612 Crow Creek Road, in honor of area fallen Navy SEAL Matt Mason.

This annual triathlon was created to pay tribute, support and celebrate lives of those who made the ultimate sacrifice serving in the military. The idea started in 2011, after Mason's death.

Mason, a Kearney native, was serving as a member of the elite Naval Special Operations Command when his Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan in August 2011, killing Mason.

"Matt Mason was the guy who could always get people to do something they never thought possible. He convinced so many of his nonathletic friends to take part in the sport of triathlon by making one little dare, to 'cowboy up,'" the triathlon website states.

Proceeds benefit two scholarships in Mason's name at Metropolitan Community College — Maple Woods' campus and Northwest Missouri State University, in addition to Word of Honor, Smithville American Legion Jim Nelson Post No. 58, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing — Kansas City and other local military organizations.

Participants, volunteers and those looking to donate are encouraged to sign up until registration closes Monday, July 29, by visiting

Northwest Editor Sean Roberts can be reached at or 389-6606.​

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