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Running, swimming, biking to the finish

By Staff | Aug 28, 2011

The inaugural Kids Fun Triathlon enabled 61 Blue Earth Area students to enjoy exercise on Saturday, Aug. 20.

“We wanted kids exercising together,” race organizer Stacy Haase says. “It’s a great way for them to be social and interact away from TV and video games.”

Putnam Park was the site of the event, with athletes swimming in the Blue Earth Community Pool, biking around the neighborhood and running across the park.

“The school does a lot with educating students on being healthy,” Haase says. “The triathlon incorporates what they learn in the classroom in a fun way.”

Ribbons were handed out to all finishers who completed the run, bike and swim stages of the event.

“For the first year, we are so pleased with the turnout and amount of participation we received from the community,” Haase says. “We ordered 100 T-shirts, and we were close to meeting that goal.”

Individual awards were not handed out. If an athlete wanted to know his or her time, they could find out after the race was over.

Kids ages 5-14 were split into three age groups. Athletes in the 5-7 age group swam 15 meters, biked one mile and ran one-quarter of a mile. Competitors in the 8-10 age group swam 25 meters, biked 1 1/2 miles and ran one-half mile. Racers in the 11-14 age group swam 50 meters, biked three miles and ran a mile.

Haase and Melissa McGuire thought of the event during a morning workout.

“We were talking while we were exercising in early June about how great of an idea it would be to put on a kids triathlon,” Haase says. “We have been going non-stop since then, organizing all of the details.”

Volunteers were a common sight on the course during the hour long event. Helping hands could be found escorting riders on bicycles, directing athletes, tying shoes and helping kids get out of the pool. A licensed EMT and Blue Earth Police Officer were also on hand to lend their services.

All of the proceeds will be donated to the Blue Earth Area Schools Foundation.

“Ultimately all of the money raised will go back to the kids who participate,” Haase says.

After the race, water and bananas were provided for the hungry finishers.

Haase and McGuire are focused on beginning the planning process for the triathlon earlier next time around.

“We are absolutely planning on organizing the race next year,” Haase says. “We have already started making improvements.”