Bradley Odom started jogging in 2010, hoping to get into shape and feel better. Within weeks Odom had lost a significant amount of weight and developed a true passion for running.
When an injury to his Achilles prevented Odom from running for a period of weeks, his running buddies invited him to swim in a triathlon. His love for competing in triathlons was born and so was an idea for a business. Odom found a business partner in Jody Middleton and they opened Swim Bike Run in Statesboro this past October on Brannen Street next to Heavenly Ham.
"In March 2011, I did my first triathlon and fell in love with it," Odom said. "The sport has changed me physically, but it has also saved me. I am a totally better person, and happier around my kids and my wife. It also has 'resaved' me as a Christian."
Odom said he met Middleton on a group bike ride about a year ago.
"I met Jody while riding, and he had just graduated and was working in Savannah," he said. "It just seemed like a perfect fit for us to open this store. He is the cycling guru, and that is his focus."
While Odom spends his time in sales, promoting the store, and speaking to youth about fitness, Middleton focuses on repair, managing the business, as well as sales.
"As with Bradley, I also am very passionate about fitness," he said. "There are several ways to get fit and lead a healthy lifestyle, and we want to provide people with those components. If folks want to focus on all three and work towards being a triathlete, we are certainly there for that, or if they are interested in just one component, we have everything for that as well."
Cody Heard is a satisfied customer of Swim Bike Run. He recently brought in a bicycle he purchased there for repair.
"Walmart sells disposable bikes," he said. "I have had two which just lasted a year each. The main reason that I came here initially was because of the warranty. They give free lifetime tune ups on the bikes they sell. I had a flat tire one day and couldn't make it down, so they came to my office and fixed it. I am very happy."
Odom said they have some unique events planned for the coming weeks.
"In September, we are going to have a triathlon clinic," he said. "We are going to start out with one clinic, and see how it goes. There will be a group swim, and then we will discuss how to transition to riding the bike. We will then do a bike ride, and discuss how to transition to the run. I think people will really enjoy it."
Odom is also planning "restaurant" group runs.
"We will have a group meet a locally owned restaurant, and then we will run for 30 to 40 minutes, come back and enjoy some time together socializing at the restaurant," he said. "I have already talked to several, and they think it is a great idea. We want to do our part to make people more active. The dates and details will be on our website."
Odom is a Georgia Southern graduate from the Health and Kinesiology Department. Middleton is also a GSU graduate where he earned a degree in business management. Middleton spent four years as the president of the Georgia Southern Cycling team, and is now the head conference director for the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference.