By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News
DANVILLE — Junior athletes will test their mettle June 14 at the Danville Area Community Center’s fourth annual Kids Triathlon.
The triathlon, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Danville Area Community Center, is divided into three categories based on age. Children age 6 to 8 will swim 50 yards, bike 0.6 miles and run for a quarter mile. Children ages 9 to 11 will swim 100 yards, bike for a mile and run for a half mile. Competitors ages 12 to 14 will swim 150 yards, bike for two miles and run for one mile. The children must supply their own bikes.
“The kids love it,” said Billie Ingraham, director of programming for the community center. “It’s a long enough distance to be a challenge but not so long to be discouraging.”
The competitors usually come from Montour County, with some from nearby towns such as Bloomsburg. Occasionally, children from out of state who are visiting local grandparents will also compete, said Ingraham.
A pre-race meeting will occur at 6 p.m., before the swimming section begins in the community center’s pool. The biking segment will occur through adjoining residential neighborhoods and the run will take place on a nearby track, said Ingraham. No flotation devices are used in the pool or training wheels used on the bike, she said.
Eleven-year old Leah Tessarvich, from Danville, feels good about her chances this Friday. “I’m very confident about myself and just trying will help my confidence,” she said. Last year, her first for the triathlon, she had the best time in her age group.
A four-year veteran of the community center’s swim team, she’s been biking and running around her block to build up endurance, in addition to her regular swim practices. “I like that it gets kids active,” she said of the triathlon.
So far, 30 kids are signed up for the triathlon, with about an additional 20 expected by the time the event starts, said Ingraham. Children can still be registered for $12 up until the day of the event, but Ingraham said the community center would prefer if all interested groups are signed up before the evening of June 13.
All competitors will get a T-shirt and a participation ribbon. While final times are recorded for each child, those times are not posted, said Billie Ingraham. The goal of the triathlon is “to have fun in a positive, supportive atmosphere, to encourage kids to get out and move,” she said.
An adult triathlon will be held the next day, June 15, beginning at 8 a.m. It will comprise of a 300 yard swim, 16 mile bike ride and a five kilometer run. The price is $50 for individuals or $30 per member of a team.
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