Furthering its goal of getting kids up off of the couch and outside exercising, TriColumbia put on the fourth annual Kidz Triathlon July 24 in the Clemens Crossing neighborhood of Columbia. More than 400 children ages 7 to 14 swam between 50 and 200 yards, biked between two and six miles and ran between .5 and one mile, based on age.
"The TriColumbia Kidz Triathlon is a fun and exciting event for everyone," TriColumbia president Rob Vigorito said in a release. "Despite the hot July weather, this is the largest turnout we've had for the Kidz Tri(athlon)."
The event featured an appearance by 17-year-old Hunter Lussi, a Maryland native who ran his first triathlon at 6 years old and is now a professional triathlete. At 13, Lussi completed an ultra distance triathlon (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run).
Kidz Tri participants took home signed copies of Lussi's books, "America, Get off the Couch" and "A Healthy America is One Bite Away," a 2011 Kidz Triathlon finisher's medal and other prizes.
Some participants took the opportunity to raise money for various charitable organizations including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation.
The age group winners were:
7-8B: Griffin Polinsky, 16 minutes, 44 seconds.
7-8G: Livia Solis, 17:38.
9-10B: Benjamin Lausch, 14:18.
9-10G: Gabriela Jantac, 15:12.
11-12B: Benjamin Rosicky, 26:08.
11-12G: Jane Tripp, 21:44.
13-14B: Bryce Rosicky, 30:02.
13-14G: Elizabeth Edwards, 30:27.