Sunday, June 3, 2012

Positive Energy Kids Triathlon

Introduction to Tris for the whole fam

Though I ended up with a bib (the best I've ever gotten) and medal (also the best), I can't say that this was really my race. Given the name, the Positive Energy Kids Triathlon, it was obviously a race geared towards kids. However, with Parent/Child divisions, Diane and I participated with Damon and Tripp, while Jordan and JT went out on their own.

So let me start by saying, this race lives up to its name. It's about having a good time, teaching kids about racing, and making everything fun for all the athletes. There are a lot of upsides to the race, the only downside being the wave start times (JT - 8am, Jordan - 8:55am, Tripp and Damon - 11:30am), a large split and a long day.

JT's Race

I think JT came in with the highest hopes, the most enthusiasm, and left with the most disappointment. More on that in a moment, but let's start with pre-race preparation. JT has been forced to bike on Mark's old mountain bike for the past year, so coming up to the race, it was time to get him a newer bike. Our goal was to find a nice road hybrid, but with how small he is, that wasn't a financially feasible option, so we went for second best: a really light, small framed mountain bike by Trek. The bike is great, and he rode it for tens of miles leading up to the race, preparing himself to kick butt on the bike segment.

I think for both of the older two, the biggest anxiety came from the swim, so JT also spent a lot of time at Grandma's swimming laps, getting himself sure that he could complete the whole swim competitively. And a mile run? Cake. So coming in, he was ready to be a competitor, and enjoy himself.

So it's race day, and swim time, and he's ready to go! JT did a couple warm-up laps, and then a couple times across the pool as they figured out where the start was from. Alas, with a hundred yards already complete, when it came time to swim, JT started
out too strong, got fifty yards in, and had already depleted his swim ability. He'd completed the whole distance (150 yards), just not during the race. This is where the "Positive Energy" comes in in PEKT. He wasn't DQ'd, he was just asked to come out with the final swimmer, and went to compete in the rest of the race.

The rest of the race went great, and JT was pretty positive coming out. But over the next few weeks, its obvious that the DNF in the swim has hit him emotionally, and he seems less excited about doing another race. Guess we just need to make sure he competes again and gets over it!

Jordan's Race

Of all of the kids, Jordan is the most experienced racer. Though this was her first tri, she's done enough runs to have race day nerves abated. She was cool, calm, patient, and ready to start long before the race began.

Jordan had several friends competing, and they took top spots in the race. For Jordan, finishing fast has never been the goal, just having fun, and doing great... and that she did. Just under six minutes on the swim (75 yards, plus T1), twelve and a half on the bike (2 miles), and a seven minutes on the run (half mile, plus T2). She came in 14th out of the 19 competitors in her age group, and came out with plenty of energy to keep having fun, and the desire to keep racing more and more!

Tripp and Damon

Diane and I accompanied Tripp and Damon on their races. 25 yards in the pool (once across), a mile on the bike, and a quarter mile on the run. I was, and am, proud of our little guys for doing this race! Tripp, at two years old, was the youngest racer on the field. And Damon biked so fast, Mom couldn't keep up with him running. Damon had a smile on the whole race, and Tripp hasn't stopped talked about his "Tri-apple-on" since.

I can't talk too much about Damon and Diane's race, other than Damon's competitive go-go-go spirit through the whole thing, and the smile I see on every picture we have of the race. That, and the fact that he just barely was out of training wheels, but raced hard on the bike... hard enough to blow past Diane's running capability. But being the one accompanying Tripp, there are plenty of adventures on the race that bring me smiles.

Like JT, Tripp came in without a bike that could get him racing. The race directors are pretty lenient on everything, but tricycles are not an option. So two days before the race, Tripp got a new bike with training wheels. A day before the race, he was practicing non-stop at the park. And by race day, he was wheeling along, mostly on his own.

Tripp and Damon both rocked the swim, with no help needed, and a drive to reach the other side. Damon was out fast on the bike, and Tripp was pretty ready to go by the time we reached the Bike Start. He did pretty good on his own, but about half way through the bike ride (29 minutes is a long time for a 2 year old), every bench was calling his name, and every playground was the place he wanted to be. But finding
the arrows on the ground made for a path he could follow to the end, and other than his inability to make it on the uphills alone, he did great.

Both boys finished up fantastically, and though Tripp and I were the last ones across the finish line (they actually started tearing it down before someone told them we were still out on the course), we actually had two other families with longer times than ours! (41 for us, 47 and 49 for the slowest finishers). And Damon's 23 minutes was fantastic!

I can't recommend enough this race for families. We'll be out again in early August to race it again for the California Kids Triathlon (same course, same group). This time, we'll do even better!

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