Kids Triathlon in starting blocks

Trail Parks and Recreation is getting ramped up for its fifth annual Kids Triathlon on July 5.

Trail Parks and Recreation is once again ringing in the summer on a fun and fit note with the Kids Triathlon set to hit the starting blocks on July 5 at the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre (TALC).

Last year over 80 young athletes between four and 12 years old swam, rode, and ran in the event that has been growing steadily since it its inauguration five years ago.

“It’s been really good,” said Parks and Rec coordinator Lisa Manaigre. “Last year we had 85 participants, the year before that was 89, so we’re striving for about 100 this year.”

The event began as an initiative by Gerick Cycle and Sports, Teck’s Wellness and Learning Centre, and Trail Parks and Rec to promote fitness at a young age. The event is both fun and competitive, keeping the distances manageable to ensure the younger kids enjoy the race, and, at the same time, challenge the older ones.

“It’s actually quite challenging,” says Manaigre. “I would say each group, they are pushing hard to get to the finish line. They are really earning their medal, especially when you get into the seven and up ages. Some struggle but it’s not extremely difficult. You want to make it a bit challenging so they feel they’ve accomplished something.”

The kids compete 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 and many volunteers to help out.

“The volunteers actually make it happen,” said Manaigre, whose volunteer list from past triathlons includes help from Teck, Gerick’s, the Trail Ambassador program, and the Trail Smoke Eaters.

The youngest of the competitors swims 25 metres (one length of the pool), bikes for just over a third of a kilometre, and runs for half a kilometre. The distances increase incrementally up to the 11 and 12 year olds who swim 100 metres, bike 3.4 kilometres, and run for 1.5 km.

Each group starts in the TALC 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.

“They’re the same distances we had in the past . . . and we have detailed maps that we have available for people to take a look at.”

Check in for all participants is at 8:15 a.m. with the race start set for 10 a.m. The fee for the triathlon is $38 for all Greater Trail kids and includes entry fee, race package, t-shirt, swim cap, and lunch.

The deadline for registration is July 2. For more information, or to register or receive a race map contact the Aquatic Centre at 364-0084.