Triathlon for kids set to kick off summer

Published 6:49 am Friday, June 5, 2015

In conjunction with opening day at the Albert Lea city pool, area youths have a chance to compete in the seventh annual Land Between the Lakes Kids Triathlon.

The three-part race starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at the city pool and will feature swimming, cycling and running of varying distances depending on age.

“It’s an active, fun way for the kids to kick off the summer,” said Dennis Dieser, executive director of the Albert Lea Family Y and co-chairman of the race. “It’s something we want to continue to have.”

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Along with Dieser, Ross Williams and Lynn Scheevel are co-chairmen. The event is a collaborative effort among the Albert Lea Family Y, Mayo Clinic Health System, the Albert Lea school district and Albert Lea Parks and Recreation, Dieser said.

The triathlon will feature four age divisions: 7 to 8, 9 to 10, 11 to 12 and 13 to 14.

Distances vary from two widths to three lengths of the swimming pool, one to four miles for the bicycle ride — helmets are required — and 1/4-mile to a mile for the running portion.

“The youngest kids aren’t going to have as much strength or ability yet, but this is good way (for them to compete),” Dieser said.

The swimming portion will be under the supervision of lifeguards.

“With the pool opening, it’s a good practice run-through,” Dieser said.

Cycling will take place on the Blazing Star Trail, and running will go past the boat landing and finish at the city pool parking lot.

Each participant will receive a T-shirt and medal. Snacks will be available after the finish line.

“It’s great to watch what the little kids can accomplish and see the fun that they’re having as they cross the finish line with big grins on their faces,” Dieser said.