Nearly 200 athletes aged three to 13 from Osoyoos to Kelowna and the Lower Mainland participated in the third annual Pharmasave Okanagan Falls Junior Triathlon on June 21.
Kids were given the chance to enter the non-competitive race, and while times were not officially recorded, each athlete did have their name and unofficial time announced by Steve King.
“With our race, it’s not about the time you get, but about the time you have,” said co-race director Niki
Holt. “All the athletes had a great time with huge smiles seen.”
There were distances for the age groups of three to seven, eight and nine, 10 to 11 and 12-13.
Kids aged three to seven completed a 30-metre swim, 800-m bike ride and 250-m run. Kids aged eight to nine swam for 75-m, biked 1,600-m and ran for 800-m. Ten to 11-year-olds completed a 75-m swim, bike 3,200-m and ran for 1,600 and 12- to 13-year-olds swam 150-m, biked 4,000 and ran 1,600.
Among the kids in the oldest age group were Riley Thompson and Rylee Holt. Thompson thought the event was great as it allowed kids who normally wouldn’t get the chance to enter the sport and get some experience.
“It was hard. You are combining three hard sports,” said Thompson. “I think the swim was because there really wasn’t much of a swim. You were just running through the water and that’s hard.”
Thompson liked the bike and run portion and felt good while completing them. He enjoyed completing the bike portion because he knew “you are about to finish.”
Thompson sees himself doing more triathlons as he found a way to enjoy running and swimming with cycling.
Holt thought it was a fun event and said it was a good, small triathlon for kids to get into.
“It was a challenge,” he said, adding that the swim was tough since the water was too shallow for swimming, forcing the kids to run.
Holt also enjoyed the bike and run portions.
“It was good because you had so many laps to do,” he said.
Several volunteers and event sponsors were credited for making the event a success, especially with kids not having to pay due to the generous sponsors.
“Our little race is becoming very well known in the triathlon world, and we have been warmly
received and supported,” said co-race director Carrie Ferguson. “Moving the event to the weekend this year
and increasing the cap of participants just proved that we may be able to grow even more for next year’s race.”
The Pharmasave Okanagan Falls Junior Triathlon is an official Kids of Steel event, along with being fully sanctioned by TriBC. The event website, www.okfallsjrtri.com, shows maps and distances according to age categories.