Demonstrating What It Means to 'Live Well,' Dr. Joseph C. Maroon Enters His 5th Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii

At 73, the Head of GNC's Medical Advisory Board Shows what Training, Nutrition and Will Power Can Achieve

PITTSBURGH - Oct. 3, 2013 // PRNewswire // - Dr. Joseph C. Maroon will step into the surf of Kona Harbor again on October 12th for his 5thIronman World Championship. Despite a demanding and hectic schedule as a neurosurgeon and nutrition expert, Dr. Maroon embraces what some have called the most grueling endurance race in the world. The race consists of a 2.4-mile ocean swim, biking 112 miles up and down the sides of an active volcano and then a sweltering run of 26.2 miles through a lava field – all in under 17 hours!

Dr. Maroon, who is Chairman of the GNC Medical Advisory Board, knows a lot about what training, physical conditioning and proper nutrition can achieve. But, he notes, preparing for the Ironman requires strengths that go beyond the merely physical. "The mental battle is far harder than the physical," he said, "and you undergo a wide range of emotional highs and lows: from self-doubt and intimidation of seeing others with seemingly iron quads and bionic arms pass you, to the unbelievable elation of crossing the finish line. It's all about confronting one's own fears and self-doubt and fighting the urge to quit with every step you take."

Joseph Fortunato, GNC's Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, said, "All of us at GNC congratulate Joe for his dedication to his own health and wellness and his drive to once again compete in the Ironman World Championship. His athletic performance truly demonstrates the power of the Live Well message. Joe has been a friend for many years; but more than that, he is an inspiration to me and everyone who has had the privilege to know him. We also congratulate all of the participants in this year's Ironman competition as well as all who are inspired by these athletes' examples to achieve a better, healthier lifestyle."

Reflecting his status as a world-renowned neurosurgeon as well as team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dr. Maroon is also presenting at the 25th Annual Ironman Sports Medicine Conference in Kona on October 9th. His topic will be the role of neuropsychological testing in the management of concussion. Dr. Maroon is Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, one of the nation's Top 10 hospitals as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and a Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience and Professor at the Pitt School of Medicine.

About GNC

GNC Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, is a leading global specialty retailer of health and wellness products, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplement products, sports nutrition products and diet products, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "GNC."

As of June 30, 2013, GNC has more than 8,300 locations, of which more than 6,200 retail locations are in the United States (including 969 franchise and 2,189 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in 55 countries (including distribution centers where retail sales are made). The Company – which is dedicated to helping consumers Live Well – has a diversified, multi-channel business model and derives revenue from product sales through company-owned retail stores, domestic and international franchise activities, third party contract manufacturing, e-commerce and corporate partnerships. GNC's broad and deep product mix, which is focused on high-margin, premium, value-added nutritional products, is sold under GNC proprietary brands, including Mega Men®, Ultra Mega®, Total Lean™, Pro Performance®, Pro Performance® AMP, Beyond Raw®, and under nationally recognized third party brands.

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Media Contact:

Laura Brophy
212-537-5177, Ext 2



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