I confess, this isn’t MY race report. However, our whole family enjoyed the First Coast Kids Triathlon so much I wanted to share the experience here.
Little man had been registered for this event last year, but bad weather caused a reschedule that we were unable to attend. He wasn’t all that disappointed about it, if I recall, and so I figured he was kind of done with the triathlon circuit.
This year, he came home with a flyer from school regarding a triathlon team, and he asked me if he could join. It was one afternoon a week for six to eight weeks, immediately after school. Obviously, I said yes. My friend was the coach and organized the workouts, with assistance from the Kids Triathlon group, even sending a guest speaker to address the children and answer their questions.
SATURDAY: Packet Pick Up & Bike Drop Off
The race organizers asked for everyone to pick up their packets and drop off their bikes in transition the day before the race. The venue was about 4o minutes away, so it wasn’t incredibly convenient, but we did as instructed.
The kids got their t-shirts, as well as colored swim caps, bibs, ankle chip and the numbered stickers for their bikes and helmets. They also got a set of wristbands. Children would be held at the finish line until a parent or guardian, wearing a matching wristband, claimed them.
Little man had his bike inspected and then walked into transition. Parents were 100% not welcome in transition. I respect this (even if I don’t like it – at his first ti, one parent WAS allowed in to assist): transition is crowded enough, and parents would be more of a hindrance than a help. The area was absolutely loaded with volunteers, so the kids just had to raise their hands and ask for assistance if necessary.
We also took advantage of a guided course tour. Little man was able to see where he would be doing each of the three disciplines, and how he would be getting in and out of transition, each time. Spectators were also informed of how they could watch their kids in action, and where the best places to view would be. There was lots of great information, presented in a very kid-centric way, and I think we all learned a lot.
After we were finished, we went our for a dinner of little man’s choice and called it an early night.
SUNDAY – Race Day
No one loves that o’dark thirty wake up call, but we wanted to make sure we were at the race site early enough to get good parking and get our tent and chairs set up.
Little man got marked and brought his bucket of gear into transition.
We had reviewed set up several times, and he had it down.
Part of triathlons is waiting, so we chilled out under our tent with our school group, waiting for his staggered start.
Finally, his number was called, and we escorted him to the staging area, and then we hustled to the pool so we could watch his swim.
Swim – 100 yards
First up? The young triathletes had to swim four lengths of the pool in a snake formation (down lane 1, under the lane line and up lane 2, etc). Kids started about every 10 seconds from opposite ends of the pool, and had plenty of room to pass. What I especially loved was that there were lifeguards on the pool deck, and volunteers/lifeguards in the water along the lane lines, just in case.
He did great through the swim, with a very consistent pace.
At the end of his four lengths, he popped out and started the trek to transition, while Mr PugRunner and I parted ways: I waited to see him ride out of transition while Mr PugRunner went to watch him mount up in transition.
Bike – 3 miles
We knew we had some time to wait for the duration of the bike course, so we returned to our tent for a drink. The bike always makes me nervous, just because I can’t see the whole thing, and cycling can be so unpredictable. The course went out on a main road, which was closed to traffic, and there were members of a local cycling club riding up and down the area to offer assistance and encouragement, so I knew everything would be fine, but it’s still nerve-wracking for me.
After a while of watching other kids and chatting, I crossed the staging field to the bike finish area. I wanted to cheer him on for his last trip through transition.
He came flying through the last few yards of the bike, slowing as instructed because of the hill and speed bump at the end. I was able to catch him one more time, wheeling his bike back to the rack and he was doing great.
Run – 1/2 mile
Mr PugRunner had grabbed a position closer to the start of the run, and was prepared to accompany little man if he needed the extra encouragement, so I went closer to the finish line. I guess when he passed his dad, he said he was ok on his own, and kicked it over the finish line.
We matched our wristbands and snagged the free post race ice cream.
He was pretty exhausted but incredibly proud of himself.
The last time he did a triathlon, little man told me he didn’t really love it, but First Coast Kids Triathlon was way different for him. I felt that it was way larger with so many kids involved, but also a lot more organized and somewhat more instructional, focused on learning how to be a safe and effective competitor. He said that he absolutely would do it again, and even told me he wants me to coach the team at his new school.
We loved being there to support him, even if he didn’t need very much help. I’m looking forward to next year, and hopefully, we’ll be able to form another group of his friends to take on the distances!
Does your whole family compete in sports?
Are their kid-specific triathlons in your neck of the woods?
Anna@ pPipers Run says
I love this! Congrats to your son!! There is a kids triathlon coming up that I am thinking about signing up my oldest. I think she would love it! We are an active family as well: together and on our own.
Anna@ pPipers Run recently posted…June Mileage & July’s Goals
I bet she would! These kids events are so much fun!
Kimberly Hatting says
What a great experience! I’d be a nervous wreck, too, for the biking…there are a whole host of possible problems with that! Congrats!!!
Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Find a Way, Make it Happen
It’s such an awful feeling to see them ride off and not be there. I felt a lot better knowing that the cycling group was out there with them (and little man did say that he saw a girl wipe out and a cyclist was there in seconds to help her), but it’s so hard letting go. I’m working on it, and that being said, this is a great way to teach me to let go a little. We are lucky in that he is a pretty cautious kid, but it’s still unnerving.
I’m glad he enjoyed it though.
This is so darn cute. My son LOVES cycling, running, and swimming. I wonder if I could get him to do a tri…
Rachel recently posted…5 Ways to Have a Stress-Free Summer
I bet you could! If he likes all those things, it’s really the next logical step!
Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner says
This is so fantastic! I love that he loves doing all of these athletic endeavors. He looks so happy!
Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Inspirational Quotes I’m Loving Lately
He does have the best smile. 🙂
Kimberly G says
I love that your son loves to participate in races – he seems to really enjoy it! I don’t have any children yet but I hope that my child will love to run as much as I do!
Kimberly G recently posted…5 Documentaries To Watch
He does seem to! Sometimes, he complains and drags his feet, and he does NOT like training at all, but he seems to have no issues with getting out there and participating. I think it’s good for him, and I wish there had been more stuff available like this when I was a kid.
Oh my gosh, I loved reading this! I can feel the nervousness, excitement and pride you must have felt! How fantastic that he had such a great time! There’s going to be a kids tri near me in September – I’ll have to go cheer!
Coco recently posted…Cycling In Prince William Forest National Park
It’s no secret that I have generalized anxiety, and it’s so hard for me to let go, sometimes. I do my best to never hold my guy back because of my personal fears and concerns, and it’s one of the hardest things for me.
If you can fit it in, I bet they would love some volunteers too! I wanted to help out with this one, but I also wanted to watch my guy finish. Next year, I’m going to make myself available for set up or packet pickup. It’s a great group and I want to help however I can.
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home says
Congrats to your son!! He looks so happy.
I loved the pic of him on the bike with the girl next to him who had her basket on her bike! LOL!
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Saying Goodbye to My Coach
The nice thing about this tri is that as long as the kids are off training wheels, any bike will work. The one we did prior, some of the kids had bikes that were nicer than what I ride! It was a whole different level, and we may have been a little out of our depth. This particular tri group focuses more on the safety and ins and outs of the sport, which I prefer.
And thanks. He really seemed to like it.
Mary Beth Jackson says
Congrats! He did a great job and what a fun event for the whole family! I know you are proud 🙂 and he looked so happy!
Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…It is time to get a summer challenge ON!
Incredibly proud! He struggles with some athletic activities, so we are always thrilled when he gets out there and gives it his all!
Kathryn @ Dancing to Running says
This sounds like such an incredible experience for kids. I love that there’s an educational component included, and that there’s a focus on safety and healthy competition as opposed to it just being an all out sprint to the finish line. Has he changed his mind about triathlons after this experience?
Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Friday Five – Potpourri v. 20
I believe he has. He still said it was hard, but he felt a lot more comfortable with this particular group, so I’m going to go with it. I mean, if he wants me to coach the team next year, he’s got to race, right?
Carmy @ carmyy.com says
Wow! Good on him for doing that! I’m glad he brought it up on his own and followed through!
Carmy @ carmyy.com recently posted…Introducing Planet Fitness. No Frills, No Judgement, Low Cost Gym at Gerrard Square, Toronto.
Me, too. I love that he is willing to try hard things.
Stacie Seidman says
I love everything about this! Little man did GREAT! He looks determined yet comfortable in all the pics. I’m so glad he had a good time and wants to do more!
Stacie Seidman recently posted…Thursdays Threads
He did do great. He is always such a troopers and I love that about him.