Despite heavy downpours, organizers of the 2016 REDY Youth Triathlon are pleased with the results of the fourth triathlon, which featured a tenacious group of youth triathletes.
Held on the University of Maine at Presque Isle campus on Sept. 11, the REDY Youth Triathlon is a partnership of Healthy Aroostook, a program of the Aroostook County Action Program; TAMC and UMPI.
The triathletes, ages 7 to 14, completed the traditional three legs of a triathlon. They began with the swim portion in the Gentile Hall pool, navigated a bicycle course through the heart of the campus, and finished with the run portion that ended at the Park Family Field. Triathletes between the ages of 7 and 9 swam 50 yards, biked 2 miles, and ran one-half mile. Participants between the ages of 10 and 12 swam 50 yards, biked 2.5 miles, and ran 1 mile. Participants aged 13 or 14 swam 100 yards, biked 2.5 miles and ran 1 mile.
“REDY” is not, in fact, a misspelling but the name of the well-known mascot of Let’s Go 5-2-1-0, a nationally recognized youth obesity prevention program that has partners throughout Maine. The popular figure was present at the event to encourage the participating youth to stay active, eat a healthy diet, and avoid spending too much time in front of the television. Event organizers named the triathlon after the well-known mascot because he embodies what the triathlon is all about, which is providing kids with an opportunity to get active in a fun, safe, and supportive environment.
Because this year’s event fell on Sept. 11, organizers began this year’s event with a Color Guard presentation and the singing of the National Anthem. In addition, local law enforcement officials provided words of inspiration to the youth ahead of the event and helped to present them with their medals when they crossed the finish line.