Part of Kids Triathlon Inc., Atlanta Kids Triathlon and its YMCA partners are offering free, weekly training sessions beginning this week for local residents ages 6 to 15, regardless of whether or not they are Y members, leading up to the Atlanta Kids Triathlon itself August 26.
The McCleskey-East Cobb and Northeast Cob YMCAs will be two of 11 host sites around Atlanta offering the sessions. Training sessions will be Tuesdays 7- 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m., until the big race held at the West Gwinnett Aquatic Center in Norcross.
There will be events for kids ages 6 to 10 (100-yard swim, 3-mile bike and 0.5-mile run) and 11 to 15 (200-yard swim, 6-mile bike and 1-mile run).
“This event allows kids to be introduced to triathlons, meet people around Metro Atlanta and work with YMCA staff and volunteers. It is sure to be a fun experience for all” Becky Shipley, Executive Director.
The training sessions will focus on instructing kids on the swimming, biking, running and transitioning involved in a triathlon. Participants also will receive a weekly workout plan to keep them active leading up to the race.
Lorna Loh, Wellness Initiatives Director is one of the volunteers facilitating the practices.
“We’re really excited about offering this to our children and the community, because exercise is what’s important to us,” Loh said. “We’ve never offered this experience to the community and letting people participate is such an exciting experience.”
Tom Gildersleeve, the event director for Atlanta Kids Triathlon, expects 1,000 children to participate in the event. Kids Triathlon Inc. has previously held races in Jacksonville and Nashville, and by year’s end will have events in Houston, Boston, Atlanta and Dallas as well.
“It’s designed for first-timers,” he said. “Part of our goal is to introduce new kids to the sport and a big reason is we see the lifelong benefits. Someone can be 8 or 80 and do a triathlon. You’re competing against yourself, for the most part.”