By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
While eight began the Dave Rine Healthy Weight Challenge eight weeks ago, only four survived to the finish.
Those that made it to the end were rewarded Tuesday with additional time provided in the gym at Rine’s American Freestyle Karate.
In the end, Robin Lawder earned the title of Ultimate Challenger, edging out second-place Gordon Applebee by a single point.
Austin Applebee and Mike Brack tied for third.
Two others joined in on the challenge for fun. Sixty-eight-year-old Gerald Kurth and his 10-year-old son Jerron participated alongside the Challengers.
Over the past eight weeks, the group went through tough workouts, weight lifting, running, and extreme challenges to spark the competitive fire in the contestants while achieving benchmarks of weight reduction and fat percentage loss along the way.
Gordon and Austin Applebee were the first father-son team to be accepted into the challenge.
“I always had a partner,” Austin said.
The two motivated each other to stick with the program.
“There were ties I didn’t want to go, but he would say, ‘No, let’s go,’” Gordon said.
Mike Brack lost the most weight, dropping 46 pounds in the eight week challenge.
“I set an unrealistic goal of 60 pounds,” Brack said. “This forced me to make the time to work out. With all life throws at you, it’s easy to talk yourself out of working out. But Dave and Mike (Rine) was doing this for us, and so you want to try your best for them.”
Brack wasn’t finished. He received three months of free workouts at RAFK and is still shooting to lose a total of105 pounds over the next five months.
Even though they were not a part of the competition, Gerald Kurth was pleased with his opportunity to work out with the group.
“I think it is one of the best decisions I ever made,” he said. “I did this mainly for my son. He is a video game wizard. We ride bikes and play a little baseball, but we sit around a lot. We needed exercise and discipline. We dropped a little weight, and knowing what I know now, I would do it all over again.”
Gerald and his son received another month free.
“Dave is awesome,” Jerron said. “I loved this workout. I did my time, and I want to thank my dad for putting us in this.”
At the top of the leader board in the end was Lawder who survive the grueling workouts as the rest of the female contestants dropped out or were dismissed form the program.
“This was everything I hoped for and much more,” she said. “I got discouraged going against the guys in the challenges, but I never thought twice about it. I’m still going to take kickboxing.”
Lawder had the most body fat loss at 9 percent, and she was committed by attending all the workouts and challenges.
“Not only do I have a physical change, I feel stronger,” Lawder said. “This has taught me how to deal with more stress.”Overall, the four remaining contestants lost a total of 123 pounds.