Tri-Ing for Children

Part I – The Kids' Tri

We volunteered for the Children's Triathlon. If you have never done this before, DO IT. It's hilarious. (check out for the next Madison area entertainment)

Athletes will do some pretty weird stuff in the heat of the moment, with all the adrenaline pumping. Children take this to a whole new level. One of my co-volunteers commented that it's like watching a bunch of tiny drunk people try to do a triathlon.

It's funny too, to think how a lot of triathlete technique contradicts the values we teach children. Tying shoelaces, who needs it? Peeing your pants without breaking stride, what an achievement! And chuck those paper cups right onto the ground like a sloppy litterbug!

Not only did many of the children stop to politely finish the entire cup of water, but they also lined up single file to deposit the empties in the trash can. For a twelve minute race, you can lose a lot of time on these courtesies. As one 5 year old shuffled past, trying not to spill her cup of water, I encouraged her to "just drop it on the ground and keep running!" She stopped, carefully poured the water out on the cement, and then sprinted away with the cup clasped tightly in her fist.

My favorite was little Alex, who was perfecting the art of Dead Last. His commitment to prolonging the torture of his race (25 yd swim/1 mile bike/quarter mile run) was impressive. If you've ever tried to walk a cat, you might have some idea what his patient and humiliated mother was being subjected to as she gently tugged him forward, assuring him he was "almost there!" (she promised us that it was his idea to participate...) Alex's run technique alternated between a slow motion, stiff-legged goose-step, and Sleeping Marionette (pitched forward at the waist, with one arm limply dangling towards the ground).
While many of his peers completed the task in about 12-15 minutes, Alex managed to milk every last moment of misery, extending the race a full 40 minutes, with a dramatic finish line crawl to rival Julie Moss's tragically heroic 1982 Ironman finish.

Part II – Winning

For the adult race, I was one third of the Capital City Multisport Club relay. This is the first time I've done a relay, what fun! It's so much fun, in fact, that I don't understand why more people don't do it. I suspect it has something to do with pride, as we had to keep correcting people - No, we're not "just doing the relay," we're "Winning the Relay"

And win we did.
We beat the other relay team by over 32 minutes.

Nick had the task of swimming in the bathwater warm lake, Andrew tore up the bike course, and I was the anchor with the 10K run.
Of course, Will Smith did all three on his own, and still beat our team by 24 minutes. When I asked him how his race went, he smiled and said in his cheerful New Zealand accent, "Like taking candy from a baby!"

Well, Will may be able to outswim, outbike and outrun Team CCMC, but I'd like to point out that our swim to bike transition was 32 seconds, and his was 33. Our bike to run transition was 27 seconds, his was 28.

So, who's laughing now, Will?

Posted by kim 07/25/2011, revised 07/25/2011 by kim

Story Index:

Oops, I Did An IM
Be A Better Runner
Hello, Felt
I'm Going With You
Kim Travels Europe