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Kids Tri Team

October 21, 2011

This is the team that I helped coach from Ocean Palms Elementary this past year. We had over 30 participants under the age of 13 compete in a modified format triathlon. Children under 10 competed in a 100 yard swim, 3 mile bike and 1 mile run while the older children (10+) competed in a 200 yard swim, 6 mile bike and 2 mile run. The team competed at the University of North Florida and is the largest “kids only” triathlon in the country.
Many of the children came to us without a prior history of swimming or running. Most have rode bikes in the past whether it be a BMX or some on road bikes but needless to say many were just learning swim stroke technique and running form. It was great to see the amount of kids that were out trying something new and getting out of their comfort zone.
We relied on the parents to help the children outside of the time we spent with them and most were great because they themselves were triathletes. Some were a little harder to convince as some of the children came from homes where physical activity was not taught or condoned. You could see the children’s excitement grow as the event grew closer and they saw the improvements they were making. All of the children drastically improved and said that they were going to continue to train for next year and in a few years down the road a sprint triathlon.
As coaches we were proud to see these children progress and get excited about the opportunity that was presented to them. Not every child has opportunities like this so it was great to see not only our team, but 1,200 other children take advantage of competing in a race. We never focused on the winning aspect of the race, just going out enjoying doing something you have never done before and finishing the race (although there were some kids that were definitely competitive and wanted to win, which was fine with me). It was a great feeling seeing these children finish their race and hopefully something that they remember for years to come.
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