Bright and early on a Saturday morning, when most kids are still fast asleep, 34 gathered at the Salt River Pool getting ready to take a plunge into the chilly waters. The swim was the first leg of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Kids Ironman Triathlon, which took place on Saturday, November 9.
Every November, the bicycle course of the Ford Ironman Arizona Triathlon cuts through the Community along Beeline Highway. This larger race inspired the creation of an Ironman Triathlon for Community youth. The Kids Ironman gives young racers a small glimpse into what the larger race entails. Adult veterans of the Ford Ironman Arizona Triathlon were on hand to help direct the kids through the race and cheer them on.
At the Salt River Pool, the youth swam 100 yards. Once that was complete, they rode a bicycle for 2 miles and then ran over to the baseball field, across the street and back through the finish line.
After every participant completed the triathlon, staff presented all the youth with medals resembling the actual Ironman triathlon medal.
“The swimming was hardest for me,” said Zale Beach, 12. During the bike raffle sponsored by Multisports.com, Beach was one of the winners.
“I thought the bike portion was the hardest for me,” said Jacob Willeford, 14, who took a tumble with his bike. This was his first time participating in a triathlon event.