Triathlon kids got into stride

Triathletes of all ages met for the seventh annual Solomon Harris Try-This-Tri at Camana Bay on Monday.

With nearly 200 participants signed up to take part in five events, there was something for the entire family in this popular Queen’s Birthday holiday tradition.

The adults started the morning off bright and early with a sprint distance triathlon consisting of an 800 meter swim in the Camana Bay pool, a 12 mile bike along the bypass and a 3 mile run through the Camana Bay Paseo.

Designed to encourage newcomers to try a triathlon, there were a number of new faces at the start line. The emphasis was on having fun with no requirement to complete the entire distance.

Encouraging them along were some of the regulars from the triathlon events, pushing themselves and each other to improve year on year.

With the sun finally back out and beating down, it was a hot and challenging race, but everyone dug deep and completed the course.

Next was the super sprint event, which consisted of a 400m swim in the pool, a 6 mile bike, which ran loops around the school, and a 1.5 mile run, which also coursed around the school.

Along with the adults were a couple of hardy youngsters keen to take the next step. Marissa Poole, 9, completed the junior event two years running and decided she could add a couple of extra laps this time.

Finn Bishop, 10, had a boost of confidence on the day and decided to change from the junior event to the super sprint, and just as well he did, as he came in first male and second overall.

In the junior sprint, more than 20 children took on a 200m swim, 3 mile bike and 1 mile run course.

This was a challenging distance for the youngsters, and they worked extremely hard for their medals.

The final triathlon event of the morning was the Kids Tri of a 50m swim, half-mile bike and half-mile run.

Kids ages 4 to 9 took part, with more than 70 children pushing themselves around the course with big smiles.

This event in particular is growing in popularity each year, and it’s encouraging to see so many youngsters taking part in the sport, organizers said.

Luke Dodson, 7, took part in the Kids Tri. His mother Alyssa Dodson said, “It’s great to have an event like this for the younger kids in a safe environment.

“Triathlon is growing as a sport and hopefully we will see these kids grow with it.”

Richard Nash, whose daughter Teagan also competed in the event, said, “The Try-this-Tri is a fantastic event for the kids. It’s well organized and the triathlon committee and volunteers do a great job of putting it together each year.”

Medals were awarded as each child crossed the finish line.

Not be outdone by their older siblings, youngsters dashed in their own event for those ages 4 and under.

After watching the older kids race around all morning, the younger kids were raring to go, organizers said, and there were lots of smiles from kids and parents alike as they raced across the football field for a prize of their own.