Earlier today, my husband and I witnessed what was arguably one of the most awesome things in a long time--a triathlon that will stay close to my heart for quite some time. Which is saying a lot considering how involved we are in the sport.
In the wee hours of the morning, we headed down to 63rd Street Beach for South Shore Triathlon put on by RAM Racing. First of all, it was a standout event that was extraordinarily well organized. But most importantly, it provided enough motivation for each and every spectator to ask themselves "what's my excuse for not doing this?!"
For starters, the event had a special start wave for Dare 2 Tri paratriathletes. Talk about inspirational! We saw everything from blind athletes completing the race hand in hand with a guide to an athlete being pulled along in a raft in the swim to paraplegics. And all of them had a smile on their face. What a truly fantastic organization.
But that's not the point of this blog post.
The biggest hoot of the day easily came from watching the kids triathlon, in which my amazing and totally awesome nephew, Zachary, was participating in for the first time ever [his first race ever, in fact]. All levels were represented, too...some kids had their huffy with the bike basket hanging from the front and then you had the more competitive kids [some of which were actually on the national team for their age--yes, that exists] who had aerodynamic Cervelo bikes that easily valued more than my monthly mortgage payment. But ultimately, it didn't matter as they all had the time of their life.
The South Shore Tri's kid race was put on by the Chicagoland youth sports initiative program, Tri-Masters and offered divisions for 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14 year olds. And let me tell you, each and every one of those Tri-Masters volunteers made every last kid feel like a rockstar.
Below are a few photos of the event so you can see how it all throws down. And if you're interested in having your kiddo participate in a triathlon? You're in luck! The 21st Annual Chicago Kids Triathlon is just a few weeks away. Kids can compete as an individual in the full triathlon or take part on a relay team.