Race Recap: Sparks Tri For Kids Triathlon (August 29, 2015)

First off, let me start by saying: I love it when all three girls can compete in an event!  This weekend we went with a local race, the Sparks Tri for Kids Triathlon.  This race is hosted in Fort Smith, Arkansas, about two hours from our home.  This is not a USAT race, and therefore, they use actual age instead of USAT’s age up rule.  This both played in our favor and against us, as Marlee is to turn 5 in 2 weeks, but got to compete with the 4 year olds.  For Addie, she just turned 7, so she raced with the 7’s and of course, Evie is 8.5 years old so raced as an 8 year old.  The Sparks Tri for Kids Triathlon is a small triathlon, but has reasonable distances and a decent course for the little ones.  When they get older, they just start doing more laps on the same course (not our favorite thing to do!).  Marlee is on a smaller bike, since her bike still hasn’t been fixed from the last triathlon wreck.  The new part is on the way, although the paint color will be different (boo!).

Marlee got 1st place, 4 year old girls.  There was only 1 boy who had a better time than she did.  First, Evie led everyone in some stretching.

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Spots were marked and they were ready to go!

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One of the best things about this triathlon is there were LOTS of other kids from our hometown who had driven the 2 hours, spent the night, and were competing along with us.  In fact, Conway youth swept the podium in the 4 year old, 7 year old, and 8 year old female divisions!  A complete shut-out!

Lining up:  Marlee and 1 boy were the only ones without flotation devices and were first out of the pool!  Marlee looks like a giant! (navy blue speed suit next to girl in pink)

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The swim is inside in a fitness center pool, the youngest swim 25 yards and up to age 8 swim 50 yards.

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Marlee on the run, they went about a third of a mile.  Older girls went 3/4 of a mile.

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Marlee’s 1st place finish picture!

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Addie went next and came in 2nd place.  The friend she is with came in 3rd place, and she has only been doing triathlons for 2 months!  She is getting better each time and is a real testament that anyone can fair well with some practice and motivation!

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Here’s where I have to get on my soapbox again.  While the girls were setting up their transitions this morning, I heard a group of dad’s commenting on Evie’s bike, saying it was “ridiculous” and “over the top”.  They don’t have these bikes because we just want to have a nice bike and like to throw money around.  There were lots of factors that went into getting these bikes.  My girls are TINY!  Nearly every big-box bike, even road bikes, weigh 5-7 lbs. more than these bikes do.  I guarantee you those dads, who looked like they do triathlons themselves, have nice equipment and nice bikes.  They should know that you wouldn’t have fun doing an Ironman on a Wal-mart mountain bike.  My girls LOVE these bikes and it hurts to hear that people think their bikes are over the top.  We work hard to be able to travel and do these triathlons and my girls are NOT entitled and do not have a bad attitude about losing.  They just want to have fun, and their Culprit bikes allow them to do just that.  Having this bike has made Evie interested in racing in bike races, as well (which we will be trying starting in the spring).  So, in closing, please can we just be encouraging, whatever our kids are riding?

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Adelaide, 2nd place (7 year old girls!)

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Conway girls sweep the 7 year old podium!

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Evie was last and the race went pretty much as we expected, with a 3rd place finish.

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Those Conway girls, all up on the podium, 8 year old division.

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It was a fun day, don’t forget to support your local races, too!  We hope that this one continues for a long while, as it allows children of very young ages to compete!  This was our 2nd year at this race, we skipped it last year in order to go on a family vacation.  Glad to be back at it!  The bike course is fairly level, with the run having an up and downhill portion.  The course was entirely on a closed course (love!).  They also hand tie-dye all the t-shirts in order to be able to count laps.  They also recently went from stopwatch timing to chip timing and ALWAYS have offered the cool bobble-head trophies (which are even gender specific!).  This race has about 100 racers every year and will hopefully continue to grow!

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