An event designed for young athletes who enjoy swimming, biking, and running is approaching. The Aroostook Youth Triathlon will be held on the campus of the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The triathlon, presented by The Aroostook Medical Center, UMPI, SAD#1 Adult Education and University Credit Union, is scheduled for Saturday, June 17.
TAMC President Greg LaFrancois says community events like the align with the hospital’s mission. “An active lifestyle promotes health. These kids are developing an interest in a hobby that can last a lifetime,” he said. “The triathlon is a fun way to get area youth active and on the right track to a healthy lifestyle.”
The youth triathlon will consist of swimming, biking, and running. Triathletes between the ages of 8 and 9 will swim 50 yards, bike 2 miles, and run 1 mile. Participants between the ages of 10 and 14 will swim 50 yards, bike 2.5 miles, and run 1 mile.
New this year was the formation of a triathlon club called the Aroostook Youth Tri Club.
“Every Friday after school for the five weeks leading up to the triathlon, students were bused to Gentile Hall at UMPI to train,” said Jamie Guerrette, community health specialist at TAMC. “There were three age groups who worked on swimming, biking, and running in a rotating schedule. LeRae Kinney from SAD #1 Adult Education was instrumental with bus transportation and for registration for both the Tri Club and the triathlon itself.”
Guerrette said, “The Aroostook Youth Triathlon is open to any child between the ages of 8 and 14. They must be turning 8 by December 31, 2017. The race is not exclusive to club members. Anyone within that age group may register.”
The University of Maine at Presque Isle will host the event. Participants will have an opportunity to swim in the Gentile Hall pool and run and bike through much of the scenic campus. University officials are looking forward to welcoming triathletes, their families, and volunteers to campus.
“Our long-standing partnership with TAMC is one we value greatly. We are happy to be the host of events like this that showcase so well the work our organizations do to encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyles,” said UMPI President Ray Rice. “With the addition of the Tri-Club this year the University has seen these young faces a lot more frequently and to see their hard work come to fruition at the triathlon will be pretty special.”
The race is set for Saturday, June 17, and registration is still open. There is a final preparation day on Friday, June 16, from 5 to 6 p.m. that will include a question and answer session, race packet pick-up, and a chance for kids to run through the course.
“TAMC is committed to keeping this event affordable for families,” said Guerrette. “TAMC is sponsoring the event so that we can keep the registration cost down to only $10 per child. Because we want every child who wants to compete to be able to do so, we are offering scholarships for those who need it.”
Check-in for parents and athletes will be at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning and the race begins at 9:00 at UMPI’s Gentile Hall. For more information about the triathlon or to register, please go to www.aroostookyouthtri.org.