South Seas Island Resort on Captiva will turn into a large outdoor fitness exercise arena next weekend for the second annual Galloway Captiva Triathlon.
Human energy will be expended swimming, biking and running by hundreds of participants of all ages. Two children's fun races take place on Saturday (Sept. 15) for 6-9 year-olds and for 10-13 year-olds. Adults take to the course on Sunday morning (Sept. 16).
Boys and girls will participate in all three disciplines. The 6-9 year-olds start at 7:30 a.m. with a 100-yard swim in the waist-deep water along the shore of Captiva's Gulf beach followed by a 1.5-mile bike ride and half-mile run along the South Seas golf course. The 10-13 year olds start at 8 a.m. with a 200-yard swim followed by a three-mile bike ride and one-mile run.
Captiva Triathlon competitors will engage in a quarter-mile swim, 10-mile bike race and a finishing 3.1-mile run on Sept. 16 at Seven Seas Island Resort.
On Sunday, the adults start at 7:15 a.m. with a quarter-mile sprint-length swim. Participants transition to a 10-mile bike ride and finish with a 3.1-mile run. There are six waves of adult participants starting by age groups.
While most of the action takes place on the north end of the island, the bike course runs the entire length of Captiva Drive, which will be closed to regular traffic during the 10-mile bike portion of the event from Turner Beach at Blind Pass to the resort.
There will be barricades and public safety personnel making sure everyone stays safe. While the road is closed, approximately two hours, emergency vehicles will have full access at all times, ensuring that residents will be afforded the usual fast response times in the event of an emergency.
The finishing run is two loops around the resort. The course will be swept clean at 10 a.m.
"We've modified the finish line, otherwise it is the same incredible course that people loved last year," said Kate Gooderham, one of the race directors.
Community Cooperative Ministries Inc. (CCMI) is the charity benefit of the Captiva Tri for the second year in a row. A portion of the proceeds help support CCMI's School Backpack Program, providing emergency food to more than 2,000 area children. Registration for the event, which opened in May was deadlined for Sept. 13, but the field has been sold out well in advance with a waiting list of entrants.
"We were amazed by the level of support for last year's race, particularly when we sold out a month before the race," said Angie Ferguson, a triathlon coach, 18-time Ironman competitor and one of the race directors. "This year we increased the number of entries to 750 (700 individuals and 50 teams), to try to include many of those who couldn't participate last year."
Jason's Deli is providing the healthy menu for the more than 750 adult, 140 children and 100 volunteers involved.
"It's exactly where we want to be," said Diana Willis, co-owner of the Southwest Florida Jason's Deli restaurants and catering. "We represent good food to impact the health of our community, and we're pleased to also support CCMI in its quest to serve the hungry and homeless in Southwest Florida. Our menu is truly healthy, for children and their parents."
"It's important that our athletes and volunteers are well nourished after the race," said Gooderham. "Jason's Deli is a natural partner because of its organic and fresh ingredients with a focus on low-fat and nutritious food suited for health-conscious families."
For more information on the triathlon go to www.captivatri.org.