Seven-year-old twins Ellie (left) and Kali Egan from Loveland are shown after competing in last year’s Fun in the Sun Kids Triathlon. The Egan twins have been participating in this event for several years, along with more than 200 area youngsters.

 

On Sunday morning, June 29th, the longest running kids’ triathlon event in the Miami Valley area will kick off at Kettering Recreation Center.

“This marks our 12th year for this family friendly event,” said Susie Stein, owner of Up and Running in Centerville and a volunteer with the Fun in the Sun Kids Triathlon since the beginning. “The event was originally started in Greene County, but we moved it to Kettering after a few years.”

Stein said that her friend Nancy Knickerbocker along with a few other volunteers created the event initially as a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training fundraiser. “We wanted to create something the younger generation could enjoy, and there was nothing like it at the time in town,” Stein said.

Geared for ages 4-14, the event has all the traditional triathlon activities, including a swim, bike ride and run, all modified in length depending upon the age group. The event attracts more than 200 kids each year.

“The swim portion takes place in the 25 meter pool at the Kettering Rec Center,” said Stein. “The bike and run portions of the event are all kept within the safe boundaries of the surrounding park.” Parents and friends can watch the kids come and go from a central transition area and then watch them cross the finish line.

Stein said the longest distances, for the 14 age group, are an 8K bike ride, a 2k run and a 200 meter swim. “It’s really a lot of work for the kids,” she said. “But they don’t really train because it’s all stuff they do as kids just running around. Many of our kids are already on swim teams.”

Registration for the Fun in the Sun Kids Triathlon is $30 per child, with discounts for additional children. The event has always been a fundraiser, Stein said. Proceeds go to support Girls on the Run, a nonprofit organization for girls in third through eighth grades that inspires health and wellness through running.

“One of the beautiful things about this is that every kid that finishes has a great sense of accomplishment,” Stein said. “They are cheered on by people they don’t even know and this feels good. But what’s amazing to watch is how hard they are all working without any real sense of competing against one another. Some may work at it and become grown-up triathletes and some may do it only once a year, but it opens up a whole new world to them.”

For more information or to register (race day registration begins on 8 am), log on to speedy-feet.com or stop by Up and Running in Centerville at 6123 Far Hills Avenue or call 937-432-9210.