One of the greatest athletic challenges is a triathlon, an endurance test that is a combination of swimming, cycling and running in one event.
Unbeknownst to many, triathlons aren't all like "The Ironman," a where competitors swim three miles, bike 112 miles and run a marathon.
Many are fun events for those starting out. They are called sprint triathlons. These are much shorter, with the better athletes being able to finish in an hour or so.
On Sept. 15-16, Captiva will host the second Galloway Captiva Triathlon at the South Seas Island Resort, an event that will put area fitness lovers to the ultimate test while providing fun at the same time.
Race organizer Kate Gooderham wants to help end the stigma that triathlons are like the ironman, saying that with some training, a sprint triathlon can be done by the average Joe.
"Last year, the slowest person finished the race in two hours, as opposed to 15-17 hours in the ironman," Gooderham said. "The distance is short enough so it's doable for the average person if they start training."
The triathlon will feature a mile swim in the gulf, a 10-mile bike ride stretching the length of the island, and finished with a five-kilometer run.
The event will feature two races; a children's race on the 15th at 7:30 a.m. There will be races for two age groups (age 6-9 and 10-13) with a shorter course. It is strictly a fun event with no timing.
"We believe in getting the kids out there. All three parts of the race are lifetime sports and it's important to get kids into them," Gooderham said.
The adult race will be the next day at 7:15 a.m. There will also be clinics and other fun activities for athletes of all ages.
Gooderham said the multiple races and other activities help make this a true family event.
"With school getting started and summer ending, this is a great weekend outing for the family," Gooderham said.
Last year, all 500 entries sold out. This year, the race will have 750 entries. Gooderham said that about two-thirds have been sold so far, but expects the remaining spots to go quickly.
That means you still have time to enter and train. Some of the suggestions organizers give is to get used to the climate, the distances and the parts of the race. Also, they said include a friend as part of training to help push each other and make it more fun.
Registration is $75 plus a fee for membership in USA Triathlon. The fee includes a T-shirt, goodie bag, food, and bi-weekly tips before the event from USA Triathlon Level 2 coach Angie Ferguson, another organizer of the event who could not be reached for comment.
For more information or to register, go to the web site www.captivatri.com