By Andra Bryan Stefanoni
PITTSBURG, Kan. —
On average, it costs more than $600 to match one child with an adult volunteer in the Crawford County Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Four years ago, the Get Fit TRYathlon was born as a fundraiser for the program, and it has been gaining momentum, organizers say.
“Last year, we raised $5,000, which was great,” said Joanna Rhodes, who with community volunteer and race veteran Britt Hill has headed up the event since its inception.
This year’s event will be held June 1-2 in Pittsburg. About 85 youths ages 5 to 14 already are registered for the TRYathlon and an accompanying clinic, with 40 slots still available. Competitors 15 and older may register for a 5K/10K run. Those who register before Friday, May 24, will receive a personalized race bib.
The clinic will be held from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 1, in Weede Gymnasium at Pittsburg State University, where packets may be picked up. Youth triathlon participants will get the chance to work with experienced triathletes and trainers, Rhodes said. A 15-minute parental information meeting will be held at the start of the clinic.
“The clinic will include an optional ‘bike check,’ and participants will review the course and safety techniques,” Rhodes said. She said participants should provide all gear as if it was race day, because they will be taken through a walk-through.
The schedule for Sunday, June 2, includes the 5K/10K run at noon, and the TRYathlon at 2 p.m., both at Weede Gymnasium.
Post-race celebration activities also are scheduled. Tailwind Cyclists will provide bike inspections and servicing on site. The SEK Humane Society will have animals available for adoption. Several organizations, businesses and city departments will have booths, and Smoky Racks BBQ will be selling barbecue.
“We’re kicking it up a notch, because we want a festival-like atmosphere and to give people something to do while they wait between events or for the awards,” Rhodes said.
She said the event is open to participants of all ability levels, even first-timers. All finishers will receive a T-shirt, a medal and a goody bag. Those ages 5 to 8 will swim 50 meters, bike one mile and run a half-mile. Those ages 9 to 11 will swim 100 meters, bike two miles and run one mile. Those ages 12 to 14 will swim 200 meters, bike three miles and run 1.5 miles.
All events will use chip timing. To register, people may go to Get-Fit-TRYathlon-Get-Fit-5k10k on Facebook or to www.sportkc.org and search “events.” The cost is $35 per competitor.