EDITOR'S NOTE: The Santiva Chronicle publishes opinions and letters on topics that are important to Sanibel and Captiva. They may be submitted via e-mail at news@santivachronicle.com.

Well, it wasn’t a tri – but it still was a lot of fun.

Red tide may have kept competitors out of the water for Galloway Captiva Triathlon, but it could not keep them from doing their best and having a good time the entire race weekend. Whether it was the kids and adults trying a tri for the first time or the seasoned competitors enjoying the race one more time, there were plenty of smiles mixed in with the sand and sweat.

Amid beautiful weather, the kids’ race on Saturday, Sept. 15, and the sprint event on Sunday, Sept, 16, went off gloriously. The athletes certainly won and so did spectators – but the big winner were Lee County’s hungry kids served by Community Cooperative’s Healthy School Pantry and Backpack program.

Among other things, this program sends backpacks home with kids on weekends so they have food to eat when school isn’t in session to provide them with breakfast and lunch. The $45,000 donation from this year’s Galloway Captiva Tri will fund more than six months of that program.

All this was made possible by the registration fees, our fantastic volunteers and our terrific sponsors:
First, the Galloway Family of Dealerships, our title sponsor again this year.
Lee County Sports Development, our sprint event sponsor
Attorney Jason Gunter, the children’s event sponsor
South Seas Island Resort, the official resort
Geared Up Multisport Specialists, the official coach
Lee Health, swim caps sponsor
Jason’s Deli, food sponsor
Sanibel-Captiva Beach Resorts
Billy’s Bike Rentals (also offering good deals on race rentals)
Suncoast Beverages (beer provider)
Key Lime Bistro & Cantina Captiva
Trek Bicycle Store (also offering good deals on race rentals)
Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille
Jensens Twin Palms & Jensens on the Gulf
Sunset Grill
R.S. Walsh Landscaping
Sunny Island Adventures

We were kept safe by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department, the Captiva Fire District, Lee County EMS, and lifeguards from Lee County Parks and Rec.

In particular, we want to thank the residents of Captiva, who are so generous to let us close their road for two hours during the race; the Captiva and Sanibel athletes who participated this year; the volunteers and the Captiva sponsors. It takes a community to run (yes, pun intended) a great triathlon(or duathlon), and we saw that community spirit again this year.

Kate Gooderham, race director
Angie Ferguson, race director
Ken Gooderham, race organizer
Galloway Captiva Tri and Southwest Florida Events