Update to article below: Due to inclement weather, the 2013 First Coast Kids Triathlon scheduled for May 4-5 on the JU campus has been postponed to the weekend of June 1-2.
From the City of Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 26, 2013 — Jacksonville is less than two weeks away from hosting the nation’s largest Kids Triathlon at Jacksonville University (JU). The 2013 First Coast Kids Triathlon will take place May 4 – 5 on the JU campus.
“More than a sport, it’s an opportunity to encourage character development and hard work while teaching about the spirit of competition,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “I applaud all the sponsors, volunteers and event planners for their success in guiding young people on a path to healthier, more active lives.”
The Triathlon is close to reaching its goal of registering 2,000 youth athletes to participate in what will be the largest triathlon for children in the country for the fifth straight year. More than 350 volunteers and 6,000 spectators are expected.
“We are excited to host such an outstanding event for youths on our campus,” said JU President Tim Cost. “Together with our partners we know that keeping kids focused on health and personal pride is critical to their development. We are proud to open our campus and its expansive riverfront to the community.”
The City of Jacksonville partnered with the Jaguars Foundation, Jacksonville University, the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast, Florida Blue and Firehouse Subs for the event. With their help, the triathlon has expanded a first-of-its-kind program that introduces kids from underprivileged communities to the sport of triathlon. In 2013, 60 kids will learn to swim and be taught the fundamentals of bike safety, proper nutrition and injury prevention during a seven week program. In turn, they will participate in the triathlon on May 5. As part of the program, all of the children will be permitted to keep the equipment used in the triathlon.
The support also funds an outreach program in schools across the First Coast. Through this program, schools can receive free classes for all students about the importance of being healthy and active. Every school that forms a team for the triathlon will earn their share of more than $10,000 that will be used to help schools buy the equipment, supplies and materials necessary to keep kids healthy and active throughout the school year. More than 12,000 kids are expected to participate in the education seminars, with more than 1,200 kids representing their school at the event.
“We could not have reached this point without incredible support from every corner of Jacksonville, but race weekend is all about the kids,” said Tom Gildersleeve, Event Director of the First Coast Kids Triathlon. “This is one of very few events developed exclusively for kids, and they are the stars of the show. More than 150 kids will have completed all five First Coast Kids Triathlons come Sunday afternoon, and all 2,000 participants will have amazing stories to tell. They will walk away from JU having done something less than 1% of all kids ever do. They will feel great about themselves, and this increased self-confidence will help them in all aspects of their lives.”
About The First Coast Kids Triathlon
Organized by Kids Triathlon, Inc. (a 501c(3) entity), this event will attract 2,000 racers to Jacksonville University, and it will be largest kids triathlon in the United States for the fifth consecutive year. More than 350 volunteers and 6,000 spectators will also participate.
Schedule of Events for May 4 – 5
The race weekend is spread over two days. The festivities kick off Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. with Packet Pick-Up and the Event Expo. Saturday is highlighted by the Pep Rally (starts at 5:30 p.m.), featuring welcome messages from local officials, introductions of the 2013 Celebrity Big Kids and a motivational speech. Sunday morning is race day with transition opening at 6:15 a.m. and the races starting at 7:30 a.m. Everything concludes with the Awards Ceremony at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
What is a Kids Triathlon?
Triathlon is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, and kids triathlons are a vital part of this trend. Race distances are set by the USATriathlon (the governing body of the sport under the United States Olympic Committee) to be challenging, yet achievable, and every race consists of four components – swimming, biking, running and transitions. There are two divisions in kids races with the Juniors (10 years old & under) completing a 100 yard swim; three-mile bike ride and half mile run. The Seniors (ages 11 – 15) complete double the distances (200 yard swim; six mile bike ride; and one mile run).
Event Website: www.firstcoastkidstriathlon.org
Event Director, First Coast Kids Triathlon
Phone: (904) 448-2707
Cell: (904) 610-9921