Annual youth triathlon encourages kids to be active

With temperatures hovering in the 90s, many Central Oregon residents chose to stay inside on Saturday.

Not the youth who braved the hot weather to run in the annual 1/2 Fast Youth Triathlon.

“For everybody who thinks this is easy, I challenge them to go out and see what these little kids are doing,” said Christa Papke, a St. Charles employee and one of the event’s organizers. “The goal is to get kids active and involved in a healthy activity.”by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Ava Brenneman rides her bike down a hill at the start of the bicycle portion of the 1/2 Fast Triathlon last Saturday. Brenneman finished third in the  7 to 8 year-old division of the event. A total of 28 5-12 year-olds participated in the event.

The triathlon, for ages 5-14, was divided into four age divisions with each subsequent group competing on an increasingly longer course.

Aaden Housley blistered the course to win the 5-6 year-old group with a time of 7:32. Cannon Klumph, 6, was a close second finishing the course which consisted of one width of the pool, a .3-mile bike ride and a 600-meter run, in 7:38. Mason Kuizenga, also 6, finished third in 8:06. Samantha Ramos, 6, who was first out of the pool, finished in fourth with a time of 8:42.

Keeping things in the family, Brady Housley, 8, won the 7-8 year-old group with a time of 7:01, while Haven Housley, 7, took second in 7:21. Ava Brenneman, 8, was third to finish the course, which included two widths of the pool, a .3- mile bike ride, and a 600-meter run.

The 9-11 year-old group swam two lengths of the pool, biked .5-miles and ran 1,000-meters. Aiden Brenneman, 9, won the age group by more than a minute with a time of 12:21. Ben Sather, 11, finished second in 13:53, while Hayden Shaw, 9, was third in 14:18.

Just two competitors raced in the 12-14 age group with Brodie Kuizenga, 12, dominating the race with a time of 17:27. Eric Logan, also 12, finished second with a time of 19:13. The age group swam four lengths of the pool, biked a mile, and ran 1,000-meters.

“I think the enthusiasm is wonderful and the kids are well disciplined,” said Norm Smith, the race director. “And the volunteers. You can’t say enough. We had plenty of volunteers all through the course and they did a fine job.”

Voluneteers included members of the Sunshine 4H sheep club, the CHIPS healthy lifestyles committee, and individuals from the juvenile department, while Dad’s Place and Norm’s Xtreme Fitness also helped sponsor the LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Brady Housley races to the finish line to win the 7 to 8 year-old age group of the 1/2 Fast Triathlon.

Papke was pleased with the effort of the volunteer staff and the willing sponsors.

“We have a great volunteer staff,” she said. “One of the neat things is we have parents who constantly line the course and really help out and cheer on all of the kids. We want this to be a fun event. In the past we’ve had a chance to expand the event, but we really enjoy this as an opportunity for Crook County kids and families to come and participate.”

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