Putting the ‘try’ in triathlon
July 1, 2008
They run, swim and bike, but many of them aren’t even out of grade school. This past Saturday children from ages 4-16 tested their tri-legs at Ecker Hill International Middle School.
The program, called Tri-Kids, invited children who had never before endured a triathlon to stick it out as parents and professionals watched and cheered them on. All of the young athletes followed a variant of the same course. They swam in the Ecker Hill pool before biking around the parking lot and a bit along the road before they finally took laps around the school on foot to finish the race.
Kari Davis began to teach kids triathlon skills nine years ago while she lived in San Diego. At the time, she was coaching a competitive swim team and she found that her athletes lacked "dry land skills." She began to bike and run with them and soon found herself coaching them as triathletes. Davis ran the program in San Diego for eight years before bringing it to Park City. This is the first year that she has set up shop in Park City and she said that the best part is working with the children.
As this was their first triathlon, many of the children rode the biking section of the race on mountain bikes. After completing that section most of the kids, especially the younger ones, needed a reminder from their parents to take off their helmets, otherwise they simply continued to run with them on.
Josh Keil, 11, who won his age group, plans to build a road bike for his next race. He got into the sport, he said, because his "mom’s really close friend told us about it."
Colin Steele, 8, who took the 10 year-old division said that he got into triathlons after hearing about them at invention camp. After the race, he cooled down by going home and jumping on the trampoline with his brother.
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The young people who took to the sport will have an opportunity to improve their skills at one of two camps during the summer. The first begins July 28 and the second August 11, each camp runs five days. Tri-Kids will also hold two more open triathlons on August 1 and August 16. For more information, call Kari Davis at 640-2223.