By Natalie Strom
Grab your swimsuit and tennis shoes and head on down to the Marco Island YMCA. On Sunday, September 16, the Y will play host to the USA Triathlon’s Splash and Dash. Also known as an Aquathlon, the multi-sport event features both swimming and running and is geared towards kids between the ages of seven and fifteen.
“Our goal is to get 100 kids to participate and to hopefully get them excited about the multi-sport lifestyle,” explains Jennifer Bristow, Health and Fitness/Aquatics Director at the Y.
“Typically, kids don’t just jump into a triathlon. The bike portion can be a little expensive to get into, so an Aquathlon is a great way to introduce them to multi-sport activities. Most kids have tennis shoes and a bathing suit and that’s really all they need to take place in the race.” Participants ages 7-10 will swim 100 yards and run 1K while ages 11-15 will swim 200 yards and run 2K. “It will be set up very similar to a regular triathlon, just minus the bike portion.” The event starts with the swim and a station will be set up where kids can change into their tennis shoes and t-shirts for the running portion.
“It’s not going to be a timed event because we are focusing on participation rather than competition,” adds Bristow. This means that everyone is a winner. Each participant will be awarded a t-shirt and a finisher’s medal honoring their effort. A post-race party will take place for splash and dashers and their families, featuring a live DJ and healthy snacks and beverages.
One of only 30 locations chosen through an application process, The Greater Family Marco Island YMCA was picked by USAT to host the Florida region’s Splash and Dash.
The event begins at 7:00AM on Sunday, September 16 but registration starts today. Visit www.active.com to sign up prior to the event. The cost to participate is $25 per participant which includes a $10 One-Day USA Triathlon membership, a necessity to compete in the Aquathlon. Annual memberships are also available at www.usatriathlon.org. Race day registration is also available at the YMCA between 5:30 and 6:30AM. Race packets will be available at that time or, for pre-registered participants, pick-up is available from 9:00AM to 4:00PM on Saturday, September 15.
Give your kids a chance to really “get their feet wet” in the multi-sport lifestyle. Contact the Greater Marco island Family YMCA at (239) 394-YMCA (9622).