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Kids will be takin’ it to the streets of Elmira for triathlon

Youngsters will be out in numbers next week for the annual TriGator Triathlon, having a go at each of the athletic events. [File Photo]

The Tinman Triathlon at EDSS has come and gone but high school students aren’t the only ones who get to stretch their competitive muscles. The Trigator for Kids rolls into the Woolwich Memorial Centre today (Saturday) and if you thought last year’s event was big, wait until 720 of this year’s athletic tots hit the streets of Elmira.

In its fourth year, the sold-out event gets kids aged 3-14 to run, bike and swim in age-appropriate competitions.

“Our first year we had 250 kids, and what has happened every year since then is our event has sold out. What we’ve done is we’ve increased participation by a little bit every year; we don’t want to get too crazy, we have a pretty great event and we don’t want it to be too out of control,” said organizing committee member Vicki Gohl.

James Gohl, 8, Evan Hodson, 6, and Cassia Gohl, 12, are participating in Saturday’s Trigator for Kids at the WMC in Elmira.[elena  maystruk / the observer]
James Gohl, 8, Evan Hodson, 6, and Cassia Gohl, 12, are participating in Saturday’s Trigator for Kids at the WMC in Elmira. [elena maystruk / the observer]
The Trigator has thrived in the region, with a record number of kids participating this year. Gohl added that while such adult events are usually popular, they rarely reach capacity. The kids’ event sold out in less than an hour after it was open to online registration, with another 200 kids on a waiting list.

“That’s unheard of. It’s just a really positive experience for the kids.”

The idea for the Trigator started at Gohl’s cottage where she used to hold a triathlon for local children. Paul Helsby, now the race director, had visited the event and, after reading about similar kids’ competitions in a magazine, decided to run the event in Woolwich.

“I think he just sort of put two and two together. Triathlons are quite big in Kitchener-Waterloo and we didn’t have a kids’ triathlon here, so Paul got together seven of us and we formed the committee and came up with the vision for our kids triathlon,” Gohl said.

“It’s fun because they are helping all of the kids. I find it cool that they make no profit, they give it all to charity,” said participant Cassia Gohl.

Last year the Trigator raised $40,000 for Jumpstart, a Canadian Tire offshoot charity that helps make sports more accessible to underprivileged kids.

Evan Hodson, 6, and James Gohl, 8, are also returning for the triathlon this year and enjoy yet another way to stay active and participate in their favourite activities like running.

“It’s fun and it’s only for kids,” James said this week.

The swim will take place in the Woolwich Memorial Centre pool, with lifejackets available for kids. The bike race will consist of a loop starting from Brookmead Street and ending at the Sugar King Drive intersection, while the run will take kids north on Brookmead after leaving the transition area at the WMC, towards Killdeer Road and back again to the WMC finish line.

The Trigator for Kids gets going at 8:30 a.m. when the youngest kids (ages 3-5) start their triathlon, and ends with ages 12-14 racing at 1 p.m.


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