SUMMERFEST: Kid's Triathlon not just about winning

DALLAS -- A triathlon -- a timed race including a swim, bike ride and run -- can seem daunting for some.The eighth annual Summerfest Kids' Triathlon - with its complete emphasis on fun -- has helped quash any fears for kids of any fitness level."It's not a competitive atmosphere, it's just a high-energy, `You can do it,' atmosphere and that's what parents like," race organizer Tom Snyder said.The event is set for a 10 a.m. start Friday at the Dallas Aquatic Center, where four different age groups will compete in separate races -- with the distances tailored for them -- starting with the swimming leg inside the aquatic center, followed by a bike ride around Roger Jordan Community Park and finishing with a run through the park's grass area.Every child who finishes receives a medal and Snyder said that sometimes the loudest cheers don't always go to the winner."It's just a celebration of the kids, whether they finish first or last," he said. "The biggest difference (between other races) is the focus is on all the kids and not who finishes first."Kids, feel free to bring your life jackets, training wheels and helmets, too."That's the other cool thing, you have kids with training wheels and life jackets and noodles, you have parents who run with their kids," Snyder said."People get discouraged by triathlons because they're scared or embarrassed they're going to come in last -- I tell them it's not about that at all."It's just about finishing the race." KID'S TRIATHLON What: Eighth annual Summerfest Kids' Triathlon. When: Friday. Check-in at 9:45 a.m.; race starts at 10 a.m.; event should conclude by 1 p.m. Where: Dallas Aquatic Center and Roger Jordan Community Park, on Southeast LaCreole Drive in Dallas. Age-group triathlon distance: Ages 5-6 - - 25-yard swim, 165-yard bicycle, 75-yard run. Ages 7-8 -- 25-yard swim, 280-yard bicycle, 175-yard run. Ages 9-10 -- 50-yard swim, 545-yard bicycle, 300-yard run. Ages 11-12 -- 100-yard swim, 1,090-yard bicycle, 600-yard run. Cost: $15 for non-aquatic center members; $10 for members. Register by calling the aquatic center or the day of the race. The first 50 kids to check in get a T-shirt. For more information: Tom Snyder, 503-623-9715.


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