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

      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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