By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City will hold its 3rd in a series of four Youth Triathlons on Saturday, August 15. The multiple-stage competition will take place at the Earlywine Park YMCA, 11801 S. May Avenue, in Oklahoma City.
The YMCA website points out that the benefits of participating in Y sports are about more than just physical health, but rather becoming and staying active and developing healthy habits they will carry with them throughout their lives.
The YMCA Youth Triathlon Series offers four competitive events, each featuring swimming, biking and running.
Each course is chipped time and provides the athletes an opportunity to improve at each event. Children participating in a minimum of three events will be eligible to compete for the title of YMCA Youth Triathlon Series Champion.
A pre-race meeting and bike inspection will be held prior to each triathlon. Participants will be contacted by the race director about the time and location.
In the swimming event, Bantam division participants will be allowed to use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Swimmers may wear goggles. Masks, fins, and snorkels are not allowed.
Boys and girls will start at the same time and will be placed according to swimming times.
All bike racers must wear an American National Standards Institute-approved helmet. Helmets must be worn and fastened before leaving the transition area. Training wheels will be allowed for the Bantam division racers only.
Paul Urquhart, Executive Director at Earlywine Park YMCA said, “The YMCA is about making a difference in its community. We focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each one of these priorities is covered by our Youth Triathlon.
“The YMCA is the starting point for many Youth to learn about becoming and staying active,” he continued. “Whether it’s gaining the confidence that comes from improved swimming or building the positive relationships that lead to good sportsmanship and teamwork, participating in the Ys Youth Triathlon is about building the whole child, from the inside out.’
The Bantam Division, ages 5 and under, includes a 25-yard swim, a 1-mile bike ride, and a .25-mile run. Check in at 10 a.m. Start time is 10:45 a.m.
The Junior Division, ages 6-8, includes a 50 yard swim, a 2 mile bike ride, and a 500 yard run. Check-in at 9 a.m. Start time is at 9:45 a.m.
The Intermediate Division, ages 9-11, features a 150-yard swim, a 4-mile bike ride, and a 1-mile run. Check-in 8:00 a.m. Start 8:45 a.m.
The Senior Division, ages 12-15, includes a 300 yard swim, an 8 mile bike ride and a 2 mile run. Check-in is at 7 a.m. Start time is 7:30 a.m.
The cost for a Family Membership is $35; Youth Membership is $40, and $50 for non-members. For more information about the Earlywine Park YMCA Triathlon call 405-378-0420.
The fourth YMCA Youth Triathlon event will take place on Saturday, August 29 at the Chickasha Area YMCA, 725 W. Chickasha Avenue. For more information about the Chickasha event, call 405-224-2281.
“We reach out to the needs of the community and say here we are, how can we come along side you and make things better for you as a group or as an individual,” said Urquhart.
“Experienced Triathlete or a beginner, we welcome and encourage all to come and participate,” Urquhart added. “What a great way to start off the day for a family, by cheering on your child as he/she competes where everybody is a winner.”
To learn more, visit www.ymcaokc.org.