Sunday, September 4, 2011

Race Result: St. Croix Valley Kid's Triathlon

Event: St. Croix Valley Kid's Triathlon
Date: Saturday, September 3, 2011
Location: Maple Grove, MN
Hotel: Home, sweet home
Weather: 77F, overcast, light winds, some sprinkles
Official Results: No results were kept

Personal Results

Actual: 15:05. I intended to take splits, and then like a typical Dad, forgot to. But I did get his approximate finish time.
Overall: 3rd or 4th in male 9-12 group (view the video and be the judge). I wasn't at the finish as I had positioned myself about 100-yds from the finish line.

This was the first open water swim for the Boy®. He has done other kid tri's but those have all been pool swims. Mark Bongers of Final Stretch is doing great service to allow kids to have their own open water swim event. I wish more events would do the same after the big boys and girls have had their race.

Wearing the new trisuit. It looks sharp!
As the kids event was a 1 PM start, and since I chose not to compete in the Olympic event earlier that morning, we all slept in and drove over arriving shortly before noon. I wanted this to be his day. And I could use a race weekend break between Maple Grove last weekend and Cyman in Iowa next weekend. We got the lay of the land (and water!) and I got a personal course explanation from Mark. The Boy® was complimented on his race day attire by Jerry MacNeil. Jerry stuck around to emcee the kids making them feel very Big Time.

Setting up transition
We set up our transition area, and the Boy® went thru his swim warmup. We were called to the water shortly before 1 PM for race instruction. There were two waves, and the Boy® would be in the second (older kids) wave. He had to do a 50-yd swim, 2 mile bike, and 0.5 mile run.

Mark Bongers gives the race instructions
Instead of a out-and-back buoy line, the buoy's were positioned in a horizontal line to the shore. I'm sure this was done for 100% total safety, but it lead to my only slight annoyance with the race. Basically, since the kids were in water only to their waist it ended up being a 'walk' rather than 'swim' in the water as you will see in the video. Just about every kid ran thru the water instead of doing an actual swim like the Boy® did. My suggestion, if it is possible to do so and maintain child safety, would be to swim a vertical line next year to actually put the kids over their heads as far as water depth and do an actual swim. Either that or mandate (for the older wave) that they cannot walk/stand/run.....they have to swim!

And not a complaint, but a question.....does anyone know if they make chip ankle bracelets for kids? It would have been cool to have the event be chipped time, but it could just factor down to something being available for the waspish ankle diameters of the kids.

To the Dad report!

Swim - 50-yards

I was really happy with how the Boy® had listened to me as I gave him 20+ years of advice. I had told him to line up outside and be right at the front since he is a strong swimmer. And he did just that.

So the horn goes off and I'm standing there agape at all the kids running....but then this was a low-key event and during instructions it was indicated that the kids could run. The Boy® swam it....all of it.....and came out of the water nearly dead last. But he gained great experience which will be invaluable to him as he gets other opportunities to do other open water tri's.

Out of the water & into T1


I was thrilled to see him exit the water strongly with his legs high. He then almost immediately reached up and grabbed the goggles and swim cap so by the time he flew past me he had both in hand as he went into T1. Parents were allowed in transition and were allowed to help transition. Since I was sort of peeved over the swim, I decided to help the Boy® in transition even though I had told him I would not be....for experience sake. I helped with his race number belt while he put on his helmet and shoes. I had his bike at the ready. We had made sure we had it in a low key earlier. Off he flew.

Heading out of T1 onto the bike course

Bike - 2 miles

This was a two loop one mile course. There was one tight turn as they came in before heading out for the second lap. One young lad bit it on that turn, and ended with some scrapes and such but the course was really safe for the kids. I was very happy to see the Boy® had pulled himself well into the thick of things as he completed lap one.

Completing his first bike circuit

I had gone through gear changes and I think he did very well. He came into T2 in 3rd overall.....after having exited the water almost dead last. He was having a great race.


I grabbed the bike from the Boy®, told him to get his helmet off and 'go-Go-GO!' Off he went like Dad, like a bat out of Hell.

No flying dismount just yet! Came into T2 in 3rd.

Run - 0.5 miles

By the time he was through transition and heading onto the course I could see he had already moved into second and was really flying before settling into a more even pace. I ran over to meet him on the return about 100-yards from the finish. I could see he had fallen back into what I think was 4th overall for the boys. By the time he hit me I told him to sprint and get the boy in front of him...which by the video, I think he did. That would have put him on the podium if I was tracking right. But again, this was not about a certain time or place but rather for the experience and he did very well through all three elements and especially during his transitions. Something he can build off of.

Almost done with the run

The Boy® told me he did 'horrible in the run' because he had gotten a side stitch. So I used this to explain that everyone gets those now and then and how to work through it. Another valuable teachable moment. It explains why he had fallen back after tearing out of T2.

Having a post race smoke (its a lollipop!)

I thought all the kids did great! My sincere appreciation to Mark Bongers and the Final Stretch staff for staging a kids event. Thanks all!

Here is the short video:


Christopher Hawes said...

Very nice. Looks good. Way to get him started early.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there is chip timing for kids of your son's age. My kids are 9&10 yrs old and our local tris all have chip times. As far as I can tell they are the same it just wraps around more.