Try-4-The-Kids helps children battle obesity through athletics - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Try-4-The-Kids helps children battle obesity through athletics

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Jason Trotta (right) surprised Brian Harper (left) with a free bike after his first triathlon Jason Trotta (right) surprised Brian Harper (left) with a free bike after his first triathlon

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Jason Trotta has been running triathlons since he lost 140 pounds eight years ago. The journey inspired him to give support to children fighting the same battle he once fought.

Trotta met Lowcountry teen Brian Harper a year ago at a Louie's Kids event, an organization that raises money for children fighting obesity. 

Trotta has been training Harper for his first triathlon for a few months and Sunday morning, they accomplished their goal.

"Literally, I almost teared up crossing the finish line just to see him do it," said Trotta. "It was pretty incredible."

It took Harper a little over two hours to complete the triathlon at James Island County Park, but he made it across the finish line. 

"I felt like I was gonna die," he said about finishing the race. "But about 10 minutes later I felt amazing. I felt well-accomplished. I felt like I was on top of the world."

Trotta works with a program called Try-4-The-Kids, which raises money to help children battle obesity through athletics. Trotta and Harper came together to start a bike raffle to raise money for the group in conjunction with the triathlon training.

During the raffle drawing Sunday, Trotta and Trek Bikes of Mount Pleasant surprised Harper by giving him the bike he used to train for the triathlon.

"I'm ecstatic," Harper said. "I was really sad I had to give it away 'cause I mean, I love this bike.  I mean I rode on it as much as I could ... at least 36 miles in the last week."

Brian Harper says he will continue to do triathlons in the future to stay in shape. As for Trotta, he will continue to help kids reach their goals.

"Just to think that if I had somebody that was there, that could've coached me back when I first started," said Trotta. "That's what my motivation is."

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