By Rachel Allen
A triathlon takes the skills of running, riding a bike and swimming, along with the
stamina to do them all back to back. It’s impressive enough when an adult can pull off
this trifecta of athleticism, let alone a kid! But, that’s just what they will do on June 1 st at
the YWCO’s Kids Tri the Y event on the grounds of Athens’ YWCO on Research Dr.
“What kid doesn’t love to swim, ride their bike and chase each other?” says Kim
Landrum, YWCO board member, Kids Tri race director and youth triathlon coach,
who holds Level 1 and youth/junior coaching certifications through USA Triathlon, the
governing board for the sport.
Last year’s inaugural YWCO Kids Tri the Y brought 86 young athletes to the grounds
of the Athens based organization on the East Side. The race takes place on a closed
course, with the swim and run on the YWCO campus, and the bike on Research Drive.
The race starts with an indoor pool swim, proceeds to a bike on Research Drive, which is
completely closed to traffic, and ends with a run on the trails and soccer fields. This year
Landrum expects a full race, at 125 participants, and almost as many volunteers, which is
what she credits the success and positive environment of the event to.
Participants ages 6-13 can do the triathlon based on the age they will be on December 31, 2013. 6-8 year olds will swim 50 yards, bike 2 miles and run approximately 500 meters.
9-10 year olds will swim 100 yards, bike 3 miles and run approximately 1 mile. 11-13
year olds will swim 150 yards, bike 4 miles and run approximately 1.5 miles.
Each age group starts and competes at a different time so participants are always racing
with appropriately aged competitors. They also have “swim angels” in the water to assist
with any participants who need help, or just support and encouragement.
Landrum offers a free transition clinic April 20th from 2:00-3:00 at the YWCO, where
she will go over the course layout, race distances for each age, transitions, skills for each
leg, general USA Triathlon rules, race safety and equipment. Race registration will be
available at the clinic. Young triathletes will also have an opportunity to swim the course
distance and establish an estimated swim time to be used for the swim start. The Kids
Tri the Y offers a time trial start for the swim, with stronger swimmers going first, so it
is important to have an estimated swim time when you register, Landrum says this keeps
the field spread out and safe.
The YWCO Kids Tri the Y is scheduled for Saturday, June 1. Registration is open
and can be found on Active.com. The cost is $40 and includes a race bag with sponsor
goodies, race t-shirt, finisher medal, race number and access to the post-race party with
music, a silent auction, food, inflatables and other fun. Participation is limited, so don’t
wait to register. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http:/
/ywco.org for more details.