Local ‘Fat Guy’ Gets Thin, Sets Sights On Kona Ironman Triathlon

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In a few months, a thousand of the fastest athletes in the world will fly to Hawaii to compete in the most prestigious triathlon in the world.

Now, as Mike Schuh reports, a local man is hoping to get there–not because of his speed, but because of his story.

This is a story about time, troubles and change.

In 90 seconds Greg Rittler will . . .

“I’m asking people to go vote for my entry in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii,” he said.

Rittler is fast but not Kona Ironman fast.

“I am not fast enough,” he said.

But he used to be slow, really slow.

“I was a fat guy,” he said.

A fat guy, who had this happen after surgery two years ago.

“And when I woke up my wife was crying next to my bed and said ‘you’ve got to change,’ Rittler said.

It’s one thing to make a vow. It’s another to keep it.

Rittler kept it.

“ I started running, riding my bike,” he said. “Swimming, playing ultimate Frisbee, anything I could to keep moving.”.

So look, the fat guy isn’t fat anymore.

“It worked, slowly but surely I’ve lost 85 pounds over the last two years,” he said.

He has run, biked and swam in races. And now has set his sights on the Kona Ironman World Championship.

“I never dreamed I could be an ironman,” Rittler said.

But race organizers offer slots to people who symbolize the ironman spirit.

They have to make a video to convince people to vote for them.

“Little by little, the weight started coming off,” Rittler said. “I began to realize that anything is possible. For a guy like me to be able to do that after I was in the shape I was, it’s just incredible. I think anybody can go do these things and I love to inspire people to go get out and move, and they can create a story like mine.”

Now, 90 seconds later, he asks: “Watch the video and vote. I’m ready for the Ironman World Championship in Kona. Anything is possible,” Rittler said.

To see his video and vote, click here.

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