A proud 2015 TRYathlete displays her medal.

A proud 2015 TRYathlete displays her medal.

TRYathlon is hard, fun work

The annual Kids' TRYathlon takes place on July 16, so come downtown and cheer on all the great young athletes.

Vicky Trill

This Saturday, July 16 is the fourth annual Kids’ TRYathlon race in Ashcroft. Four-and-a-half years ago, a friend and I were chatting about the importance of impressing healthy living on children, and we said, “Hey, wouldn’t it be neat if we could teach triathlon to kids? And wouldn’t it be so cool to have an actual triathlon race for kids in Ashcroft?!”

That conversation has resulted in countless hours of volunteer work; but it’s very worthwhile, rewarding work! Although we feel tired at times, we are so glad that our little brainstorming chat turned into something so worthwhile and life-changing for so many kids!

These past few weeks, kids have participated in full days of triathlon training in preparation for the event this weekend. Each participant has run, biked, and swum 50 kilometres over these five days of training! (I have heard reports that they have slept very well too!) All of this exercise and training is disguised with a lot of fun and games, and we have really enjoyed working with all of these young athletes!

Now all the training will be tested at the TRYathlon this Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Ashcroft pool and finishing at the Heritage Park downtown. Participants will swim their designated number of lengths, followed by a 5-10km bike ride downtown, and will finish with a distance run along Railway.

We call this triathlon event a TRYathlon because the purpose is for kids to TRY; and “try” they do! Come and cheer these young athletes on, at the pool and along the bike and run routes. Please note that from 8 a.m. until noon, both Evans Road and Railway Avenue will be closed for the young athletes’ safety, so park along a side road and find your spot along the route to ring your bell, toot your horn, hold your sign, and shout, “Hoot, hoot!”

Once you have cheered and enjoyed the event, stay with us downtown at the park for even more family fun! Beginning at 11 a.m., bring the kids for the Children’s Festival, which offers more free events and entertainment. Bring your chair and stay with us all afternoon, then put on your dancing shoes for the Elvis concert in the park at 7 p.m. Wow!

If you would like to be involved in the Kids’ TRYathlon, as a volunteer or a participant, there is still time. You can register for the race online (for free) until July 15 at raceonline.ca, or come to the pool park from 7 to 8 p.m. on July 15.

For more information about the TRYathlon, Children’s Festival, or the Elvis concert, call 250-457-7038.