Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Do Your Kids Tri??

Has your daughter mastered the flying dismount? Did your son learn the meaning of 2.4/112/26.2 before his multiplication tables? We shouldn't force triathlon on our kids, of course, but why not give them a lil' taste? What a great way to get moving and experience that awesome feeling of accomplishment.

Here Utah Tri Buzz contributor Mandy Oscarson takes a look into some local options for kiddos (and adults) to get involved in the kid triathlon scene.

Think back to your very first race. Think of all the things you had to overcome to get there. You were probably nervous, excited, or maybe totally chill because you had no idea what you’d gotten yourself into. Now remember how you felt when you crossed the finish line. Exhausted, but euphoric at accomplishing something you never thought you could – you were now a triathlete!

The next generation of triathletes are going through the same things you did. Kids these days are tri-ing hard things! Watching those emotions on a child’s face – well, it just gets you right here. No, not the pocketbook. That soft and squishy place that sometimes gets shoved under mounds of paperwork at the office or never-ending chores at home.

Two recent local tris included kids races and as I did some research, I learned there are quite a few options for your budding triathlete. The 14 and under crowd can see what mom and/or dad were talking about with, “killer hills!” and “by the time I get to the run, there’s nothing left!” or even “I’m GOING to be an Ironman!”. Since we don’t see too many race reports on kids’ tris, and since, after all, they are the future of triathlon (and so dang cute!), Utah Tri Buzz decided it was time to highlight the littles!

Ice Breaker

RaceTri’s Ice Breaker, at American Fork Rec Center, had a 100-meter swim, 3 mile bike, and 1 mile run. 14 kids took on the challenge. While waiting to cheer on two of my kids, I learned most of them decided to race the night before (including my daughter) or morning of, one through the prodding of her friends. I talked to her dad before the race started, and asked if he was a triathlete. He said no. So I asked if he was feeling a little nervous for his daughter to participate in something they had never done before. He said no, he’d seen youth get so focused on one sport that they burnt out by high school – which was a shame since they had so much potential. He didn’t want that for his daughter, so he encouraged her to try new things. His philosophy panned out – since his daughter Maddie got first place overall for the females!

Check out RaceTri's Facebook page for more pics!

a kids race podium from Ice Breaker
SHAC Triathlon

The SHAC Triathlon in St. George provided two kids’ races. The kids’ beginner was a 50-yard pool swim, 1-mile bike, and .5-mile run. The Kids Sprint was a 100-yard swim, 2-mile bike, and .75-mile run. 57 kids participated in the beginner race, while 38 toed the line in the kids’ sprint. Utah Tri Buzz contributor Christopher White participated in the adult race and had a chance to interview one of the kids, 10-year old Asarah Kingston (with her dad’s help).

Chris: How many triathlons have you done?
Asarah: Three. South Davis Recreation Center’s two races: Splash n Sprint and Labor Day, and SHAC Tri.
Chris: Why do you do triathlon?
Asarah: Cause it’s good exercise and it’s fun.
Chris: What is your favorite part of doing triathlon?
Asarah: Out of swim bike and run? The bike.
Chris: If your friends wanted to do a triathlon, what would you say to them?
Asarah: I would say that they are really fun and good exercise.
Chris: Anything else you want to say about triathlon? (Dad expanded it to, what’s your goal?)
Asarah: My goal is to be an Ironman one day.

TriUtah – Brineman and Team Kid Courage

For another option for getting kids involved in tri, look no further than TriUtah. The only open water I could find, Brineman will offer a kids’ race “where kids can swim in safe open water of the Stillwater ski lakes and parents can walk alongside them on the shore!” according to Dan Aamodt, race director.

TriUtah also partners with Team Kid Courage (TKC), which is an organization that pairs an athlete with a disabled child so they can experience sporting events (including triathlon, marathons, and cycling). Dan confirmed there will not only be teams from TKC this year, but also from Team Hoyt and Reese Thorne participating at East Canyon, Echo, and Jordanelle.

Heath Thurston, former Utah pro triathlete and current swim and triathlon coach, has been on many of these teams, and had this to say, “Any organization that works to help bring equality to any person of any ability to be able to participate in sport or activities that some people with special needs may not even consider doing… I love being a part of those types of organizations and being around those with special needs always makes my day better and happier. Pushing kids and/or adults with TKC always made me so excited to race and help those that I was pushing to feel the wind and speed that I take for granted sometimes.”

Heath Thurston pushing a kid for Kid Team Courage

Team BAM triathlete Amber Foster also shared her experiences racing with TKC, “As athletes we get so wrapped up in numbers: paces, times, PRs, and finish results. The running races and triathlons that I have pushed these kiddos with disabilities have been some of my sweetest memories in the sport. In these races I forget about the numbers. The race becomes about the person I am pushing… that person that loves to race but couldn't do it without the loaned body of someone else. I have developed some sweet relationships with families that I have come to know through these experiences. In these moments you remember what racing is about....it isn't always about the numbers but more about the love of the sport. I am grateful I have had the sweet opportunity to help these kiddos do what they love as well... racing!!”

Nothing like a pint-sized athlete to help us remember why we do what we do. Here are the deets on how you can get involved with TKC or give your child the gift of tri-ing:
  • Race Tri’s Icebreaker (registration usually opens around November)
  • Shac Triathlon (registration for 2018 opens in Sep 2017)
  • IronKids race St. George 70.3 (just a run, but a fun event crossing the real finish line)
  • Kearns (KOPFC) Cool Kids Tri
  • South Davis Recreation Center 150 yard pool swim, 2.5 mile bike, 1.5 mile run
  • Splash n Sprint May 13, 2017
  • Labor Day Sep 4, 2017
  • TriUtah's Brineman September 16, 2017
Team Kid Courage: Information on their site on how to get involved – either as an adult athlete who can guide disabled kids, or if you’re a parent whose disabled child would love the opportunity to participate in a race.

Stay tuned for Part II!


  1. Thank you for posting this article! My kids have been wanting to race cause who doesn't want a medal?

  2. Oh and Dino tri usually has a kid tri