It’s back by popular demand. After taking 2015 off, the REDY Youth Triathlon returns to the University of Maine at Presque Isle Campus on Sunday, September 11, 2016. The on-line registration site will be live very soon for this event aimed at getting kids to be more active.
“We are so excited to be bringing this back,” said Jamie Guerrette, community health specialist at TAMC and race director. “The demand for this event was overwhelming and rightly so, because not only does it encourage kids at a young age to stay active, but traditionally it has been a lot of fun and this year will be no different. Having families of the athletes out there cheering them on is a pretty special thing and we are really looking forward to race day.”
The youth triathlon, a collaboration of TAMC, Aroostook County Action Program’s (ACAP) Healthy Aroostook, and the University of Maine at Presque Isle, can accommodate 100 children. Participants will be broken down into three age groups; ages 7-9, ages 10-12, and ages 13-14. The event will consist of swimming, biking, and running and the distances will be determined by the age group.
“We live in fast-paced world where it seems everything is done for you. It can be too easy to give in to temptations like junk food, or sit in front of the television or computer,” said TAMC President/CEO Sylvia Getman. “Events like this are easy for TAMC to get behind because it’s a fun way to get kids active and hopefully create some healthy habits that they can hang on to. Our TAMC team is excited to volunteer and cheer on the athletes at the youth triathlon. We’re so happy to have a part in bringing it back.”
“REDY” is 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 will be 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.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle will host the event, providing participants with an opportunity to swim in the Gentile Hall pool, as well as run and bike through much of the scenic campus. University officials are looking forward to welcoming triathletes, their families, and volunteers to campus.
“We are very excited to be partnering with TAMC and Healthy Aroostook on the region’s only youth triathlon. This is an event that gets kids excited about physical activity and healthy lifestyles—two topics that are very important to our campus—so we can’t wait to see local youth swimming in the pool and biking and running throughout campus on September 11 and we invite everyone in the community to join us and the youth triathletes for their big day,” said UMPI President Linda Schott.
The event supports the principles of obesity prevention developed by Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0. The goal of Let’s Go! is to reduce the rate of childhood obesity through policy and environmental change by encouraging children to eat more fruits and vegetables, limit time spent in front of a television or computer, increase physical activity, and eliminate sugary drinks. The local effort is headed up by Healthy Aroostook and EMHS in collaboration with other community partners including TAMC, local schools, workplaces, and others.
Volunteer assistance is needed at all stages of the course. For more information, to volunteer, or to register a child for the 2016 REDY Youth Triathlon, go to www.redyyouthtriathlon.org or www.tamc.org.