News // Apr 7, 2020

Zitta Named Coast Guard Elite Male Athlete of the Year

  • Jennifer Crowley Fyke

Lt. Duane Zitta, Command Duty Officer for the 14th Coast Guard District in Hawaii, has been named the Coast Guard Elite Male Athlete of the Year.

Zitta's athletic accomplishments are well known to the Coast Guard Foundation community. He has competed in ultra-endurance events for three years, all to benefit our Fallen Heroes Fund, which provides tragedy assistance to Coast Guard families who suffer a line of duty loss of their Coast Guard member. Since Zitta started his fundraising campaign, he's raised more than $20,000 for Coast Guard families in need.

"Ultra-endurance" might be a term unfamiliar to some- in sports, it is defined as activities that last for six hours or more. For Duane, these ultra-endurance events have included marathons, long-distance swims, 100-mile trail runs, distance runs from the ocean to the top of a mountain, and the Kona Ironman Triathlon.

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"What can you say about Duane Zitta? He's a force of nature. His determination and strength are truly an inspiration to all of us at the Coast Guard Foundation," said Susan Ludwig, Coast Guard Foundation President. "He's taken the message of hope and support for fallen hero families and shared it with the world."

Duane is honored to be recognized for his accomplishments and to help Coast Guard families through his efforts.

"It's become a means for me to give back to the Coast Guard community and the Coast Guard Foundation community as well," he shared. "It's not just an award for me. It's an award for my family and everyone who has ever supported me, come out to my races, and believed in me."

We extend our congratulations to the Coast Guard Elite Female Athlete of the Year, LTJG Rachel Burchill, stationed at Marine Safety Unit Morgan City, LA. You can read more about her accomplishments in the Coast Guard’s official announcement.

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