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A test of endurance and charity at the Galloway Captiva Tri

By Staff | Sep 25, 2013

Competitors at the Captiva Triathlon. Mckenzie Cassidy.

Cowbells and cheers met those who crossed the finish line at the Third Annual Galloway Captiva Triathlon.

Over 900 people competed in the event, including 150 children and 750 adults, who swam, biked, and ran varied distances around the South Seas Island Resort.

“It was another great example of the Captiva community coming together to support a great event for CCMI,” said Daniel Smock from South Seas.

The event raised more money than expected for Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc., to support the School Pantry and Emergency Food Backpack programs, ensuring that 2,000 local children had enough to eat this school year.

Angie Ferguson, race director, said organizers expected to earn a minimum of $15,000 for CCMI, but at the triathlon’s award ceremony Sunday morning they were able to hand over $20,000 for the non-profit.

Tracey Galloway, CEO of CCMI, thanked the athletes for assisting the organization’s mission to fight homelessness and hunger.

“The money you all helped raise is going to help a lot of hungry people in Lee County,” she said.

Organizers estimated that at least 4,000 people attended the triathlon to compete or cheer on their loved ones.

This year was unique because it featured a new “elite” division for athletes who posted aggressive times in other USA Triathlon-sanctioned events.

“The elite group really liked that,” said Smock. “They are ultra-competitive so it allowed them to get out and deal with other elite athletes.”

Many of the athletes formed teams for specific causes and wore matching t-shirts, including Michelle DiCola, John Costallos, and Coach Jack Betz, whose team represented Caleb’s Crusade (calebscrusade.com). The Florida-based non-profit advocates and raises funding for childhood cancer. Caleb, founder Monique Whan’s son, was diagnosed with a form of high-risk leukemia in 2007 and passed away days after turning 4.

Runners with Caleb’s Crusade collect funds to support local families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer and shine the spotlight on the underfunding of childhood cancer research.

DiCola completed the running portion of the triathlon. She said the early morning humidity made the run challenging, but it was a great.

“It was fantastic. The running course was beautiful,” she said.

Costallos, her teammate, completed the swimming and biking legs of the triathlon. He had been training for the last three years and said the open swim was tough.

“Open swimming with all of those people is hard. It’s like a wall of people in front of you,” he said.

Their relay team came in fourth place out of 27 teams.

Athletes competed on the beach, in the Gulf of Mexico, and across the South Seas golf course. Some swimmers reported sharing the water with pods of dolphins during their quarter-mile swim.

Triathlon sponsors included the Galloway Family of Dealerships, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille on Captiva, Jason Gunter Attorney at Law, Geared Up Multisport Specialists, South Seas Island Resort, Jason’s Deli, Sebrie Images, Lee Memorial Health System, Lee County Sports Development, Billy’s Bicycles, LCEC, ‘Tween Waters Inn, Jensen’s Twin Palms Marina, Jensen’s on the Gulf, Trek Bicycle Store, Florida Weekly, All Star Vacation Homes, News-Press Media Group, R.S. Walsh Landscaping, RC Otters/Key Lime Bistro, and Publix.

For a full list of race results, visit altavistasports.com.