Carmel residents Meg and Brad Osborne founded the Kids TRI for Kids Triathlon Series in September 2008 with Zionsville resident Bryan Boggs and Indianapolis resident Doug Robinson to help teach kids about triathlons.
“We hosted one triathlon with 80 kids,” Osborne said. “Now, 14 years later, we have five to six races a season and have seen over 8,000 entries throughout the years. So many kids are one-dimensional, participating in one discipline (like) swimming, biking or running. Once they become adults, they are looking for health and fitness outlets, (and) a triathlon is overwhelming. Our goal was to help kids build confidence in racing a triathlon, so when they are older, they are excited to develop this sport, too. We provide duathlons, too, since our goal is to help build fitness and confidence in our kids, and some may not yet know how to swim.”
The competition is for ages 7 to 14. There are five events this summer, including the annual July 4 event at Zionsville High School. The other dates are June 12: Kathy Dowling Aquatics Center, Greenfield; July 4: Zionsville Community High School; July 31: TRI Indy at White River State Park; Aug. 14, Riviera Club, Indianapolis; and Aug. 28, Greenwood Freedom Springs Aquatics Park.
Carmel resident Mike Gastineau is a board member of Kids TRI for Kids.
“After my kids completed the series and recognized the benefits that they received from competing, I wanted to join the board to support the mission of Kids TRI for Kids of encouraging kids to find a sport that encourages healthy lifestyles,” Gastineau said. “All three of my kids competed in Kids TRI. They found the experience to be fun and motivating to continue to improve in the sport while they competed. Rachel, Thomas and James each found a different experience based on their backgrounds and interest. It demonstrated to me, as a parent, that exposure to a wide variety of sports was healthy in their development of the importance of exercise and diet. They are now in college and continue to find the sports that they enjoy maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Gastineau volunteers at most of the events.
“Based on the need of the event, I will provide what the race director needs for a safe and fun experience for the kids,” said Gastineau, a triathlete himself. “The most valuable part of the program over the years is watching the kids grow from the experience. It’s an individual sport and the kids have to navigate the course on their own. Each kid has to problem solve each leg of the race, including transitions. With the help of encouraging volunteers, they figure it out and overcome these obstacles and finish the race. The result that I noticed with my kids and others over the years is a sense of confidence and determination that they can accomplish something amazing.”
Cost for all races is $30 online and $45 at the race. Family special is $30 for the first two children and $25 for each additional child. Each race will have varied distances based on layouts. For more, visit KidsTRIforKids.com.