It sometimes seems that kids today spend more time in front of a television or computer screen than they do participating in any kind of outdoor physical activity but that certainly wasn’t the case for a group of area kids over the weekend.
Over 80 four to 12 year olds spent the day swimming, cycling, and running Saturday in the Kids Triathlon at Butler Park in Trail.
“There are so few events for kids and we’ve got a perfect set up here,” said event organizer, Gerald Klassen. “We want to start them young so they come back and stay involved in health and fitness. We try to keep the distances doable for each group and don’t focus on the results so we can keep it fun.”
The kids were competing in separate age groups: four year olds, five and six year olds, seven and eight year olds, nine and 10 year olds, and 11 and 12 year olds with numerous parents and grandparents on hand to cheer them on.
Each group started by swimming in the Trail Aquatic Centre pool, followed by cycling on a set course through East Trail, and completing the event with a run to the finish line at Butler Park.
The youngest of the competitors swam 25 metres, biked for just over a third of a kilometre, and ran for half a kilometre. The distances increased incrementally up to the 11 and 12 year olds swimming 100 metres, biking 3.4 kilometres and running for 1.5 km.
“It’s a great event, I really enjoy being involved in it,” said Gord Menelaws, Teck Learning and Wellness Centre representative. “Teck pays half the entry fee for the kids and grandkids of employees, it helps to encourages the kids to participate.”
The event requires dozens of volunteers to act as course marshals, life guards, timers, and provide support and encouragement for the participants.
“There is a lot planning for an event like this,” said Trail Parks and Recreation Coordinator, Lisa Manaigre.
“We have to ensure the safety of the competitors and make sure the course is achievable. It takes tons of volunteers to pull it off, we really need them to get this event to run.”