The last time we went to the California Kids Triathlon, put on by Change of Pace, it was a whole family affair. Four kids racing, two in a parent-child division, starting early in the morning and finishing in the late afternoon. This time, the only kid wanting to compete was the youngest, Tripp. His last tri was when he was three, this time at five years old, it was bound to be a very different race. He was just a few weeks out of “floaties” in the pool, hadn’t spent much time on his bike, yet was much more
confident than a child with about thirty minutes on training wheels as he was on his first race.
I got to be the chosen partner for this race, putting this as my first triathlon since the IM 70.3 Oceanside. 25 meters in the pool, a one mile bike ride, and a quarter mile run means a less than thirty minute race, less time than it takes us to drive to Davis to get there.
Tripp was definitely in a great mood for the whole race, much different than when we came out two years ago. He had a lot of confidence coming out of the pool without floaties. And on that trip, each time he rode by a playground or a bench, he’d be asking to sit. I had to help him up every hill, and encourage him the entire thirty-plus minutes of the bike ride. This time, out of the pool, he was rushing off to get ready for the bike. On the bike ride, he flatly refused help at any point, and though he was getting passed every few minutes, he was intent on continuing on in race fashion. And as he got to the run, he was off as fast as he could go.
I had a lot of fun joining Tripp on this, his third triathlon. Even though I’ve stayed out of the sport for the last year, I’d love to have any of my kids continuing to participate in tris or in running with me. The attitude of most athletes in the sport is fantastic, the continual feeling of team, without the pressure of the “win the game” attitude is healthy, and it is something that I enjoy doing myself. While my kids have seen me fail, they’ve also seen me succeed in a big event, and it’s something that I want to have them see in their dad. I hope Tripp continues to race into the years to come, and that I can be there with him while I still can.