This year’s JCPRD Kids Triathlon is going virtual, which means this event will take a new form without a large group gathering, and has a new name. Also due to the uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, JCPRD’s other scheduled August race, the new Kill Creek Park Triathlon, has been cancelled.
Now known as the JCPRD Kids TRI My Way
, the virtual seventh annual youth race is for ages 14 and under. Following registration, and a drive-thru packet pickup on Aug 6 and 7, participants will complete the race on their own between Aug. 9 and 22. Athletes should participate and compete in the age division corresponding to their age on Dec. 31, 2019.
“Our goal is to have participants continue to challenge their health and fitness through this type of physical fitness,” said Wellness Manager Jill Leiker. “To understand that several things they typically do for fun, like riding their bike and running and playing, can translate into goal setting to experience personal accomplishment. We believe these skills translate into every aspect of life.”
While the running and biking portions of the race have set distances based on the participant’s age, the third leg, which would normally involve swimming, will now be an opportunity for athletes to get creative and design their own segment of the race based on their own interests and strengths without any set distance or duration. This is where the “choose your own adventure” and the opportunity for creativity and personalization of each athlete’s triathlon experience comes in.
“Considering our current situation, many pools have been closed and access to beaches has been limited so we felt allowing people to choose what they would like to do for the third leg of the race was appropriate,” Leiker said. “Your child can choose whatever they would like to do for their third activity. Perhaps consider making this segment a timed event rather than for distance - especially if they’re doing something like jumping jacks. Be sure to always take into consideration your athlete’s age and ability.”
Just for consideration, normal swim distances for this event would include: a 25-meter splash for ages five and under, a 100-meter swim for ages six to ten, and a 200 meter swim for ages 11 to 14.
For the biking portion of the race, ages five and under should ride 0.2 miles; ages six to eight should ride 1.6 miles; ages nine and ten should ride 3.2 miles; and ages 11 to 14 should ride 4.8 miles. For the running portion, ages five and under should run 0.2 miles; ages six to ten should run 1 mile; and ages 11 to 14 should run 2 miles.
Participants are encouraged to pick their own “race day” and complete all three legs of the race one right after the other on the same day on any date between Aug. 9, and 22, which was this year’s originally-scheduled race day. This will all be on the honor system, with no reporting requirement or ranking of athletes. Organizers do encourage participants to post photos of their race day to the JCPRD Kid’s Triathlon Facebook page.
With their registration, participants get a JCPRD Kids TRI My Way T-shirt, a finisher’s medal, a printable personalized race bib, and a JCPRD Kids TRI My Way checklist. The cost is $25 per person for ages six and older, and $12 for athletes five and under. There is an additional charge of $5 for those outside the metro area who would like to have their race packet mailed to them. Registration for this event will close on Aug. 21.
For local participants who register by Aug. 6, a drive-through packet pickup for the JCPRD Kids TRI My Way will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6 and Friday, Aug. 7 at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Dr., Shawnee.
For more information about the triathlon, visit the event website or contact Race Director Katy Renner at [email protected]
, or call (913) 826-2964.
JCPRD Kids TRI My Way is sponsored by Supporting Sponsors Renewal by Anderson and Elite Cycling, and In-Kind Sponsors Culligan Water, Natural Grocers, TRiKC, and Hiland Dairy Foods.
Leiker noted that although this is the only virtual youth triathlon in the area JCPRD officials are aware of, there are a number of other area agencies which also conducting virtual events. She added that she believes this form of racing isn’t just a stopgap measure that will go away once the coronavirus is finally gone.
“Virtual racing is a sign of the times and one we believe is here to stay,” she said. “As participants experience these events, we believe the ease of scheduling times for participation on your own terms and the family involvement of creating the experience will be why race directors will continue to plan them and why participants will continue to compete in them. The JCPRD TRI My Way is an opportunity for parents to introduce their children to the sport of triathlon and to make it a family event.”