2011 Kids Who Tri Succeed Triathlon

Today, our five-year old son did his first triathlon. I was more anxious than at last weekend’s USAT Age Group National Championship. The adrenaline was coursing through my veins as we hurried through his pre-race preparations. Even Debbie said that she was “nervous” before the start.

The cool thing about the Kids Who Tri Succeed Triathlon in Mansfield, Connecticut, was that the kids got to experience everything that you would get at a big event: registration, wrist band, bib number, goody bag, t-shirt, timing chip, body marking, and finisher medal. Horst Engineering helped out with sponsorship support and the entry fee was $20, which is more than $1/minute for this quick race, but worth every penny if you consider the positive impact on a kid’s self-esteem.

The USA Triathlon sanctioned race was traditional format. The 4-6 year olds had a 20 yard swim-1/2 mile bike-1/3 mile run. The pond swim was in shallow enough water that they could walk/doggie paddle as necessary. It wasn’t over the little ones’ heads. There was a nice little barefoot run up to the transition area from the beach. The transition was laid out in a parking lot. The bike was two loops and was probably shorter than the reported distance. The run started on a root filled trail, went up a hill, and then finished on an asphalt track around the soccer fields at Mansfield Middle School. The distance of each leg was longer depending on the child’s age group.

The 4-6 year olds started in two waves. Our son went in the second wave. He was pumped up before the race and was concerned about the delayed start. It took a while to coordinate everything and the intermittent rain didn’t help matters. More than 100 kids did the race, which is impressive. The race day registrations overwhelmed the organizers and it was obvious that they were short on volunteers. That’s OK because there were enough parents to pick up the slack. Parents were warned not to interfere with the race (read “hover”), but with a five-year old, you have to stay close and and “coach.”

I saw a ton of smiles out there today. It was too bad that the rain was coming down so hard. It made it difficult to hang out with other families. After the race, we headed to our van and packed up. Our 23 month old was desperate to don her own race kit. She had to settle for wading into the pond. She will get her chance in due time.

As a note, I didn’t spot any drafting violations, which is more than I can say about last weekend’s adult championship event. Our family had a blast supporting our boy, and at least for today, I’m motivated to race a triathlon again!

Race Results will be posted when available.

3 Responses to “2011 Kids Who Tri Succeed Triathlon”

  1. 1 Barbara Schieffer 27 August 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Congratulations Shep to a great race. Love the pictures and was rooting for you all the way.

    Love, Grandma & Grandpa S. XOXO

  2. 2 kidswhotri 30 August 2011 at 10:50 am

    I am the event director for this triathlon, and I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for this article. It moved me to tears. I have been upset at my timer, a new one I hired this year, because he announced at the last minute, literally as I was about to start the race, that his timing equipment was not working for the finish line times. I had to scramble to get someone to manually time it. Also, he failed to produce times for each kid right after the event, while families were waiting to see what time their child had clocked and many waited for the awards ceremony.
    The finish times and splits he has produced since do not make any sense, so I am working on calculating each child’s time from the manual times I had given him so that I can e-mail and post them today.
    I am so glad to see that the event was enjoyed, and I loved the pictures!!! Thank you for posting this story. I worked hard on putting together this triathlon, and you captured the essence of what it is all about.
    Next year, though, I will have a truly professional timer. Congratulate your son, and look forward to seeing you guys next year!
    Thank you, HORST ENGINEERING, for your contribution so that this event could take place, and children could have this opportunity to conquer this course and gain confidence to conquer other challenges.
    Rebecca Stephenson

  1. 1 2012 Kids Who Tri Succeed Triathlon « Life Adventures Trackback on 25 August 2012 at 6:33 pm

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