Mansfield is adding something new to this year’s Fourth of July celebration, and it will combine three favorite summer outdoor activities for the kids.
On Saturday, Mansfield will host its inaugural Red, White and Rockin’ Kids Triathlon for ages 6 to 15.
The event will host the normal three events for a triathlon; swimming, biking and running, but will feature a shorter course to give kids the chance to complete their first triathlon.
The event will start off with a swim, to be held in the Lazy River at Hawaiian Falls, followed by a bicycle route that will go through the local neighborhoods and Mansfield National Golf Course. And finally, loop back around with a run back through the neighborhoods and ending with the finish line at home plate in Yankees Stadium at Big League Dreams.
The junior participants (ages 6-10) will have a 100-meter swim, a 3-mile bike ride and a half-mile run. The seniors (ages 11-15) will participate in a 200-meter swim, a 6-mile bike ride and mile run.
The city held a Tiki Triathlon in past with a partnership with Hawaiian Falls, but this year the kids will be the stars.
“We have had 50 kids sign up for it so far this year. And they can still register up until July 1,” said Angie Henley, cultural arts/special events supervisor for the city. “We have mostly seen the seniors (group) sign up for the event. They will get a chance to swim and bike and run, and I think it will be fun for them.”
As part of the registration fee of $55, participants in the event will receive a full-day pass to Hawaiian Falls, a custom t-shirt from the event, finisher medals for all participants, food and a chance to run the bases at Big League Dreams.
It’s a serious undertaking to participate in a triathlon, but luckily, the city has helped with the athlete training.
Greg Guse, the recreation services supervisor for the city, has been hosting a training session since the beginning of June available for all the participants at the Mansfield Activities Center.
“The class is geared toward training the kids to be comfortable and to complete their first triathlon. We have practiced the bike and the running and the swimming at Hawaiian Falls, and the transitions that come with it,” Guse said. “We try to let them know it’s OK to pace themselves. The whole goal is to experience working alongside other kids that are running with them and biking with them, but also at the same times, to learn about their abilities.”
Guse said that about “12 to 13 kids” have signed up for the classes, and that there is some friendly competition brewing among the participants.
“They are all really excited. For a lot of kids, this is their first (triathlon), so the biggest thing they are excited about is just to go in and compete with the other kids,” Guse said. “They are itching to get out there and do it for real now.”
All participants will receive finisher’s medals, but the top three finishers in each age group (6, 7-8, 9-11, 12-13 and 14-15) will win awards.
Red, White and Rockin’ Kids Triathlon
7:30 a.m. Saturday
490 Heritage Parkway