The reasons why the contestants entered the Zehr Center for Orthopaedics’ 2012 Galloway Captiva Triathlon Entry Giveaway were as diverse as the athletes themselves. Motivated by family, friends and fitness, some were veteran racers while a few were brand new to the sport. Several contestants are enjoying a period of peak performance, while others are still in the process of losing weight and getting into shape. All are committed to a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, which is an important component of joint health.
“In my educational seminar on arthritis I emphasize that obesity is one of the main risk factors for developing arthritis and that exercise is the key to losing weight and making a difference in your joint health. Losing just 10 pounds can ease 50 pounds of force on your knee joints,” explained Robert J. Zehr, M.D. Zehr is the founder of the Zehr Center for Orthopaedics.
A combination of a short essay on why they wanted to compete in the 2012 Galloway Captiva Triathlon, an online voting process at http://zehrcenter.com and the input of a panel of 10 judges resulted in the choice of two winners who will receive complimentary entries from the Zehr Center. The Zehr Center is the sponsor of the adult race for this popular event.
Kimberly Huff started running exactly one year ago. Since that time, she has lost 100 pounds and changed her life. She taught herself how to swim, and loves riding her bike. “This race will be the end of a dream for me and the beginning of a long healthy life as I begin training for the next challenge,” Huff wrote in her essay.
For John Henry the Galloway Captiva Tri will be his first full USAT triathlon. Over the past 18 months he has lost more than 125 pounds. Henry has been swimming for the last year with the GCST Masters team but says, “Open water is my favorite. I was able to participate in the Haines City IRON MAN 70.3 on a relay team. That is where the triathlon bug bit me! Since then I have been working on building running and bicycling proficiency as a way to keep myself motivated toward my ultimate goal of a healthy weight and lifestyle that is still almost 70 pounds away.”
Huff and Henry weren’t leaving much to chance in their quest to win. They both enlisted the aid of friends and family, networked on Facebook and Tweeted their way to success, amassing over 2,000 votes each. More than 9,400 votes were cast for 11 contestants.
“Their stories are truly inspiring,” said Dr. Zehr. “They have each lost a substantial amount of weight and have made lifestyle changes that will benefit them for years to come. In our eyes they are already winners and we’ll be on hand to cheer them on in the 2012 Galloway Captiva Triathlon September 16.”
The sprint length event will be held at South Seas Resort and includes a ¼ mile swim in the Gulf of Mexico, a 10 mile bike race along the paved island roads of Captiva (which will be closed for this event) and a 5K run along the Gulf, Redfish Pass and the South Seas golf course on a combination hard-sand and paver course. Visit http://captivatri.org for more information.