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Tales in Triathlon

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George Papadakos - Tales in Triathlon

If I could go back in time I would of most definitely picked up triathlon as a kid. If you think about it we were all triathletes once. I spent my summer days racing to the outdoor pool for swimming lessons on my trusty 10-speed, then racing back home where the neighbourhood kids were always up to something.

Whether we were playing tag, hide and seek, road hockey or soccer, the main thing was that we were outside.

Having two kids of my own, I know how hard it is to keep kids off of screens, but with some coaxing maybe you will find that triathlon might be the answer.

There are many kids triathlons in southern Ontario. Websites such as Multi-Sport Canada, Trisport Canada and Sun Rype Tri kids have triathlons that are geared solely for kids.

The emphasis on having fun is the primary goal, and the course distances are set up to age groups so that kids have a challenge, but aren't intimidated by it. An example of this for an athlete that is 10-11 would be 100m swim, 5km bike and a 2km run. My kids have both done this race and have had great experiences.

The Sun Rype triathlon series is great for kids that are not great swimmers. The swim takes place in a pool where kids swim the specified laps under the watchful eye of lifeguards. They are also allowed to wear a life jacket if they feel uncomfortable as well. For the wee ones parents can help their child by being in the pool.

The bike course is usually on closed roads or inside a park or parking lot where kids do multiple loops before dismounting and heading off to the run. The smile on my kids faces was priceless. The sheer enjoyment, the feeling of racing other kids and that everyone there is watching them makes for a perfect day.

As kids come down the finishing chute there name is shouted out by the race announcer, and race organizers hand out high fives and a finishing medal. The perfect end to a great performance is the post race buffet that includes granola bars, fruit, chocolate milk and drink boxes.

The best thing about this sport is its simplicity. Make it a family affair to get out and enjoy the beautiful sunshine and all that summer has to offer. For more information on kids triathlons please contact me at triathlongeorge@hotmail.com.

Until I meet you at the start line, train smart and have fun!

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