Bill Burnett is the Managing Director and Founder of Streamline Events. He launched his first triathlon in his coastal hometown of Cohasset, MA in 2007. The Cohasset Triathlon was originally created to showcase the beautiful seaside town, but Bill also wanted to give back to the community. After seeing for years what a good friend’s son had to endure managing type 1 diabetes (T1D) on a daily basis, he knew he wanted to raise money for JDRF’s mission.
The Cohasset Triathlon, now in its seventh year, has raised nearly $1 million for T1D research to date and continues to be one of JDRF’s largest and most successful volunteer fundraising events across the country. The event has also become one of the largest, most popular sprint distant races in New England, attracting athletes such as Gary Hall, Jr., an Olympic swimmer and JDRF Advocate who has lived with T1D since 1999; Jarrod Shoemaker, a professional triathlete and Olympian; Dick and Rick Hoyt of the inspiring Team Hoyt; and former United States Senator Scott Brown (R-MA).
Bill and all of the event’s supporters have dramatically increased awareness of T1D and demystified it, showing that people affected by the disease overcome challenges every day but can also live normal, productive lives. There’s no better evidence of this than the “Tri Team for Diabetes,” a growing group of older teens and adults with T1D who compete in the Cohasset Triathlon every year.
According to Bill, “I am deeply touched by the outpouring of support from the T1D community. I’ve never seen anything like it. The passion and drive to find a cure is so strong. People often ask me how we made the Cohasset Triathlon so successful and my answer is simple: Surround yourself with good people who are passionate and have high integrity and good things will happen.”
Streamline Events specializes in staging triathlon, open water swimming, and trail running events. The company currently organizes events throughout New England as well as Florida and New Jersey, bringing in over 7,000 athletes annually. Bill credit’s Streamline’s success to a combination of hard work and good fortune—as well as a strong team of volunteers who are willing to go the extra mile. An All-American swimmer in college, he keeps in shape with the Harvard Masters Swim Team. He regularly gets up at 4:30 a.m. for an early practice that gives him a jump-start on the day.
“I started racing with my local swim team in Birmingham, Michigan when I was 8. I learned early on that some of life’s greatest challenges and sweetest rewards can be achieved from athletic camaraderie and competition. That has certainly been the case with Streamline Events. I’ve been inspired by the athletes who cross the finish line for the first time as well as the Olympic athletes who join in a ‘hometown’ competition,” said Bill.