To contact and support George email [email protected], call 519-842-0256, check his Facebook page or go to @triathlongeorge on Instagram. If you would like to make a donation to George’s Marathon for Memories, please go to his fundraising page here.
With four very successful fundraising duathlons already to his credit, George Papadakos is set to kick off 2021 for the Alzheimer Society of Oxford in a truly innovative and inspirational fashion.
Facing the daunting challenges of both the global COVID-19 pandemic and Southwestern Ontario’s often bitter January weather with his well-known enthusiasm, George is carefully plotting out a remarkable course-of-action to run one marathon a day throughout the full month.
The bold move represents yet another project he and his family have undertaken over the years to raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of Oxford and judging from the sound of his voice he is more than eager to get his feet on the road this very minute.
“I’ve always enjoyed undertaking the endeavours we’ve been involved in,” he said. “There were the five duathlons here in Tillsonburg from 2011-2015. We attracted about 100 or more very supportive participants each time. Everyone did a great job with the challenging bike and run effort, helping to bring in a total of between $13,000-$14,000 for the Society."
“My daughter Zoey and I have been involved in the Walk for Alzheimer’s since she was a very young girl and we hosted a surprise birthday party for my wife Nikko one New Year’s Eve. All the money went to the Alzheimer Society of Oxford, a wonderful organization for which we all have a soft spot in our hearts.”
George and his daughter Zoey have raised almost $31,000 with their combined efforts for the Alzheimer Society of Oxford!
COVID-19 forced George and his father Gus to close their restaurant, leaving him to concentrate much of his time as a fitness coach for the online Beachbody On Demand®. He and Nikko, working from home, are ambassadors for the fitness program that includes a nutrition platform.
“There is a personal aspect to our involvement in these projects,” George added. “My wife’s aunt died from the uncommon Pick’s disease, similar to Alzheimer’s, that affects parts of the brain controlling emotions, behaviour and more.
“Fitness is a major part of my life. For the past year, I’ve been a vegan and am pleased to see many positive changes the plant-based diet has produced for me. It inspires us to see just what physical and nutritional benefits can provide.”
In preparation for the month of marathons, George is regularly in session with his triathlon coach James Loaring discussing issues related to durability, strength, training, how to deal with injury and overall preparedness before, during and after what is likely to be a gruelling event.
“It’s great being motivated on paper but you must be fully prepared for unforeseen events and changing circumstances,” he said. “In a perfect world I’ll start from the front door, then go outdoors. If the weather’s an obstacle it’s upstairs for a marathon on the treadmill. There’ll be a set plan to address all possibilities – outdoors, indoors or both.
“I’ll take care of the issue of contributions, like using newspapers, my social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram, word-of-mouth and putting out media blasts to communicate with those who want to donate, regularly keep track of the project or participate in other ways.
As he views the full month of marathons as a “grand” concept, George would like to see at least $10,000 being raised for the Alzheimer Society of Oxford. How does executive director Shelley Green see his latest endeavour?
“The feedback from Shelley has been great,” he said. “She’s on board and thinks my idea is over the top amazing and unbelievably brave. This is how I go about setting my goals so folks often expect me to perform with an idea that is often bigger than me.
“I’m getting much-appreciated support from Shelley and all at the Society, which will help me reach my goal. With more exposure, maybe some will run with me. I’ll share my plans online to produce traction in December and into January. My Instagram handle is @triathlongeorge.”
In addition to his triathlon coach, family and friends, George has a chiropractor Dr. Mark Dickson and massage therapist Courtney Bari on board and one local sponsor Hayes Maple Syrup that’s chipping in with the creation of a special energy juice.
“I love being inspired and coupled with a great community-focused organization like the Alzheimer Society of Oxford that gives so much to so many, I’m enthused about this project,” he said. “COVID-19 is an issue but I believe we’re coping with it.
“Should anyone be running with me, of course, there will be all the necessary COVID precautions in place, masks and social distancing to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone. Support for The Alzheimer Society of Oxford and the project has been amazing.”
It will most likely be frightfully frigid outdoors in January but don’t be surprised to see George blazing along the trails with blistering speed to raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of Oxford.
To contact George email [email protected], call 519-842-0256, check his Facebook page or go to @triathlongeorge on Instagram. If you would like to make a donation to George’s Marathon’s for Memories, please go to his fundraising page here.