• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

It’s fun to Just Tri

Kaitlynn Johnston, Payton Johnston and Kaitlyn Hodges celebrate completing the last leg of the Just Tri! Youth Triathlon in North Liberty Aug. 2. (photo by Lori Lindner)

NORTH LIBERTY– When nearly 100 kids between the ages of 6 and 14 come out on a Sunday to swim, bicycle and run, everybody wins.
That was the scene at the fourth annual Just Tri! Youth Triathlon in North Liberty on Sunday, Aug. 2. Co-hosted by the North Liberty Recreation Department and Tri-Fit Agape of North Liberty, the event is not timed and places are not recorded. Distances of each leg of the triathlon are modified to accommodate three different age brackets.
The intent is as straightforward as its name: organizers just want kids to give it a try.
“Parents are so happy that we do this each year,” said Katie Gerot, Director of the North Liberty Aquatic Center. “The first year, it was a timed event, but we felt like that kept some kids from participating, so we decided to take away the stress and just focus on completing the course. We encourage kids to just come out and give it a try.”
With between 100 and 150 participants from year to year, the event is not just a parent-pleaser.
“The kids have a lot of fun,” added Gerot. She acknowledged the many volunteers who help organize and execute the triathlon, as well as the donations from the community, businesses and the Optimist Club of North Liberty. “It went really well again this year.”
As runners Kaitlyn Hodges, Kaitlynn Johnston and Payton Johnston came across the finish line, they all sported big smiles and participation medals.
“I like that things were non-stop,” said Kaitlyn Hodges, a first-time participant. “It was really long, but really fun.”
Kaitlynn Johnston was a return athlete, joining the triathlon for the second year.
“I like everything,” she said, and mentioned she briefly trained for the event. “I ran around the neighborhood, and things like that.”
Kaitlynn’s brother Payton was also a second-year participant.
“I like that it wasn’t timed,” he said. “That way, everybody wins.”