Organizers of the Marco Island Triathlon, The Fitness Challenge, immediately hypnotize all in their path. Their name is used to entice, The Fitness Challenge. Director Linda Gregory goes on with “Y NOT TRI…Accept the Challenge.”
Almost 300 from all across Florida, from Washington D.C. to Ohio, Oregon and even as far as Spain, accepted that challenge. Participants could run either as an individual under Clydesdale or Athena categories, or as part of a team of two or three. Teams were divided as male, female, corporate, mixed, family and special response.
The race should have consisted of a ¼ mile swim, 15-mile bike ride and 3.1 mile run, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Wind and waves caused directors to cancel the swim, and instead add a run along the beach. Racers of all ages were there, from 15-year-old Martin Badov to 83-year-old Marco resident, Mary Ann Tittle.
Why do they accept the challenge? Besides the fact the event is held on a gorgeous beach at the Marco Island Marriott and runs through the streets of beautiful Marco Island? Why do they run and bike, and sometimes swim, these grueling triathlons? All along the sidelines, and at the finish line, it becomes all too obvious. There were t-shirts, which read “I do it for Michelle,” or the “Walcks ain’t walkers,” or the “fit ACMan team.” There were people cheering on their family members or friends all along the way. There are friends who run because of someone they know, or someone they love. Some, like Team Meow, do it For the Love of Cats; other people do it to support their favorite charity or organization. One thing is obvious, whether it be for a group, a cause, a friend, an associate, family or personal goal, each of the entrants has a reason they accept the challenge. That reason is what propels them to make their way to the finish line.
Congratulations to ALL who accept the challenge. This writer is in awe of your energy and determination.
Top 5 Overall Male and Female Individuals
- Ross Lenehan
- Vladimir Casanova
- Oscar Corredor
- Diego Corredor
- Bill Quinsey
- Christina Kolstedt (14 overall)
- Julia Wreski (19 overall)
- Michelle Bracci (44 overall)
- Deb Morphy (45 overall)
- Karen Tamson (59 overall)
Awards were also presented to the top three in each age group and the top three in each team division.