Kids doing triathlons? That’s right: according to USA Triathlon, kids between 7 and 17 now make up 25% of the total number of triathletes. It’s an official sport in the Olympics and the USA Triathlon Association is working towards making it an NCAA sport.
Wow! Last month I wrote here about Michelle Obama’s bid to beat the world record for jumping jacks with about 400 grade school students, as part of her Let’s Move! campaign, but those kids have nothing on these IronKids!
First Triathlon At Age 5
From abc2 news:
Winter Vinecki is just 12, but she’s a veteran when it comes to triathlons. She started out when she was just 5, “After that first tri, I was really hooked on the sport.”
Then there are the Connerty children: 6 year old Annabell and 8 year old Huntley. They are beginners who just crossed the finish line for the first time ever. Huntley plans on doing tris to stay a healthy child, “I like it and it keeps you healthy.”
They were proud to cross the finish line. Winter, on the other hand, is setting records. She’s won two National titles and is the Ambassador for Ironkids. After losing her father to prostate cancer she even launched a worldwide team to raise money to help find a cure. This is her passion. She thinks everyone should give it a ‘tri’, “You can race for a cause. You can do it for yourself. You can do it as part of a relay.”
One Third Of U.S. Kids Overweight Or Obese
Childhood obesity is a major concern in the U.S. today, with one third of our young people either overweight or obese. So this is great news that some children are getting active by taking part in triathlons. I wish I had thought to add them to my book Get Out!, which has 150 ways for kids to be active.
In case you’re trying to imagine little kids doing an Ironman triathlon, with its 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run, don’t worry: distances are sized down, according to the age group.
Dozens Of IronKids Events Every Year
And as first reported on abc2news, Micheel Payette, IronKids director, points out that many children are already doing triathlons each weekend, without realizing it: “Kids, you know, they’ll get up on a summer day, get on their bike, ride to the lake or pool and swim around, get out and play tag. That’s a triathlon.”
The mission of Ironkids, which holds dozens of events around the country every year, is “to inspire and motivate youth through the sport to lead an active, positive, and healthy lifestyle.” I love it!
Photo Credit: YMCAGreaterOKC