We were so excited to announce in our last issue that Owensboro Parent Magazine and the Owensboro Family YMCA are pairing up along with the support of Independence Bank to bring a Kids Triathlon to Owensboro!
There is a strong need in the community for family healthy activities. What better way to be active than involving the entire family in triathlon training?! Swimming, biking and running are three activities that we all grew up participating in, and we want to bring back the fun! Whether this is your child’s first triathlon or 20th, they will have a great time competing or just enjoying the race experience.
We will have music, food, shirts and medals for all participants. This race will NOT be chip timed, but we will have a running clock so participants know their personal time.
Here is what parents can expect for the day:
Race day registration will open at 7:15 a.m. and close at 9:15 a.m. at the family YMCA registration office (900 Kentucky Parkway Owensboro, KY 42301).
Kids will report by their age group times (see below) to the pool at the Family YMCA.
- 11-14 years old: 8 a.m.
- 7-10 years old: 8:45 a.m.
- 4-6 years old: 9:30 a.m.
If there are more kids registered than the amount of pool lanes we have, we will have wave starts within the age group. For instance, if we have 5 lanes and 15 participants in the age group, we will have 3 waves separated by 2-minute intervals. Distances for the swim vary with age group:
- Ages 4-6: Swim 25 yards (one length of the pool)
- Ages 7-10: Swim 75 yards (3 lengths of the pool)
- Ages 11-14: Swim 125 yards (5 lengths of the pool)
Once the swim is completed, participants will head towards the bike transition area that will be set up on the front lawn of the YMCA. Participants will exit the pool emergency doors. Ryan Clark from the cycling department at Legends will be on site prior to the race to conduct safety checks on the bikes.
Participants will take their bike on their designated course, with route distances varying with age group:
- Ages 4-6: Bike .46 miles
- Ages 7-10: Bike 2.34 miles (1.17 loop x 2)
- Ages 11-14: Bike 3.42 Miles (1.71 loop x 2)
Once participants have completed the bike ride, they will rack their bike in the transition area and head out for the run. Distance varies with age group:
- Ages 4-6: Run .46 miles
- Ages 7-10: Run 1.17 miles
- Ages 11-14: Run 1.71 miles
Once finished with the run, participants will have completed their triathlon! After all that hard work, your kids will love the music, food vendors, and fun-filled afternoon!
If there is a need to cancel due to inclement weather, we will reschedule for July 23. Same times and rates apply.
Questions from Parents:
- What if my child can’t swim without some type of floatation device? No big deal! Bring your life jacket, arm floaties, Puddle Jumper, whatever your child will feel most comfortable in! If you don’t have any of these, the YMCA will provide kick boards at the event. Volunteers will be in the pool.
What special gear will my child need? Just a helmet and bicycle. A helmet is mandatory for the event.
- What if my child is still using training wheels? No problem! Parents can also run or ride along side their child. We encourage you to have fun as a family!
- Will my child change clothes after swimming? No, there is no need to change clothes. Children will get out of the pool and go right out to their bike, put on their shoes and take off for the ride portion of the event.
- What if my child is not strong in a particular portion (bike, swim, run)? This race is for everyone! We just want families to come out, make it to the finish line and we want to cheer you on along the way. It is all about having fun!
- What if I have children in different age ranges? We plan on running one group at a time. That way it will be easier for parents in that situation.
Green River Kids Tri Group
We hope that your kids not only have fun participating in the triathlon, but also find a new love for being active! Jan Ward and Karen Hobelman saw a need for kids to be able to participate in a sport where everyone is welcome, leading them to start a triathlon team for kids in the Owensboro area in 2014. Triathlons are great, Jan says, because there are not a finite number of players, so any child, at any level can participate.
“Obesity rates for children and adults continue to increase every year,” Jan said. “Team sports aren’t for everyone. So, we decided to introduce kids to a sport we both enjoy. Our main goal has been to develop children in a non-threatening way. We try to teach them basic skills of swimming, biking and running to keep them safe and also help them to learn how to have fun while getting more physically fit.”
As a part of the group, kids are not encouraged to try to run long, bike long or swim long. The goal is to learn how to build slowly and reduce the risk of injury, ultimately teaching kids to push themselves based on their abilities, not the person beside them.
“Having a local triathlon is awesome for these kids,” Jan said. “It gives them a chance to race with friends and have more family watching. Competing in a race gives them a sense of pride unlike team sports. They know they had to do the work to get across the finish line. There will be so many proud, smiling kids crossing that finish line!”
Jan says for our community to offer this, is a true blessing. “We have a very active adult community who seem to be looking to get their kids active,” Jan said. “Triathlon is a lifelong sport to be enjoyed for a variety of reasons and learning the ins and out at a young age will help grow the sport.”
Here are some tips from Jan, who says safety is key.
Children need basic swim skills to be safe. If a child cannot swim, make sure they have proper safety equipment the day of the race.
Also, kids should wear helmets any time they ride a bike. (For this event, a helmet is mandatory.) Many accidents happen at slow speeds but end in tragedy. Head injuries can change a child forever if they survive. Don’t risk it!
In order to get ready for the race… parents should have kids participate in swimming, biking and running at least once a week. Sessions can be as short as 15-20 minutes.
Teach them how to go slow enough to keep their breathing controlled. We talk a lot about “all day effort.” They should be able to talk as they run and bike.
Bicycle handling skills get better with more time spent on the bike. They need to learn how to start and stop quickly to avoid wrecks. There are some basic rules to follow. Stay on the right side of the road. When you go to pass someone, let them know you are there by saying “on the left.” Some simple things that help others know what to expect.
When it comes to the run, they need to make sure they don’t sprint the first part. Easing into the run can allow them to run the whole way. One of our kids says, “go out like a pig, finish like a cheetah.” Words to live by!
“When the triathlon was first presented to Independence Bank, we knew right away that it was a great opportunity for us to partner with Owensboro Parent and promote healthy activities for our Little Patriots and children and parents in the community all while having some fun!” said Bridget Reid, Marketing Director for Independence Bank.
Last year, Independence Bank launched the Little Patriots Savings Club. It’s more than your typical savings account. It teaches financial literacy, educating young savers about saving wisely, responsible spending habits, investing and giving back to the community. Throughout the year, Little Patriots are invited to be a part of Independence Bank events and activities that come with special privileges at events the bank puts on or sponsors. For example, all Independence Bank Little Patriots, can participate in the Owensboro Parent Kids Triathlon for FREE! It’s a way we can say thank you and encourage healthy physical and financial habits.
We would also like to thank Legends, Gateway Urgent Care, Owensboro Family YMCA, Kidstop Children’s Boutique and StrideRite Bootery, and Academy Sports and Outdoors for partnering with us on this event!