July 26, 2006
Charlotte, NC -- More than 150 kids are expected to compete in the "9th annual Great Kids Triathlon" August 12 at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center, 800 East Second Street, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The swimming, biking and running competition is for kids age 17 and younger.
The Great Kids Triathlon is named for Rodney Sellers, who developed it nine years ago. Rodney has been associated with it ever since as pool supervisor and now recreation coordinator at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. Rodney envisioned a fun competition to measure the all around athletic ability of kids, and that's exactly what this triathlon is and has always been. "Many kids are great swimmers, but not so good runners, or visa versa," Rodney says. "The overall winners are those who best spread their talents across all three sports."
The triathlon is a competition for kids in various age groups with boys and girls divisions for ages 8 and under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-17. Kids start out swimming, jump out of the pool, put on shoes and bike helmets, jump on bicycles, ride the required distance, then jump off and run to the finish line. The distance of each leg of competition varies in the various age groups. The older the kids, the farther they have to go in each leg of the race:
- The swimming distance ranges from 100 yards to 400 yards.
- The bike rides vary from 1.4 miles to 5.6 miles.
- The run covers distances from 0.7 miles to 2.8 miles.
Matt Jakubowski, also a recreation supervisor at the Aquatic Center, helps Rodney run the event. "The kids get very excited and parents really get into it because the kids try so hard," says Jakubowski. He says this event is tremendous fun for spectators and participants. There is a major emphasis on safety. Streets around the Aquatic Center are blocked off with police on every corner. There are lifeguards in the water during swimming competition.
The Aquatic Center is operated by the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department, which sponsors the triathlon. Registration forms, brochures and more information about Rodney's Great Kids Triathlon are available at the Aquatic Center, 800 East Second Street, or from Rodney Sellers at 704 336-7859 or Matt Jakubowski at 704-336-7855. The cost to enter is $20 if you register by August 11. Registration on the day of the event is $25, and begins at 7:30 a.m. on August 12.