Youth Triathlon challenges children to improve skills while enjoying outdoors


By Ryan Schlehuber "Scoop" • Last Updated 12:59 pm on Wednesday, June 14, 2017

As many as 50 youngsters are expected to participate in the inaugural Mid-Montcalm Youth Triathlon at Montcalm Community College Aug. 27, where those who participate will receive a free bicycle (for the first 50 youths to register). Deadline to register free is June 15. Pictured are children from a previous event held in Gaylord.

 

SIDNEY — When Pastor E.J. Wolf moved from Gaylord to the Stanton area last fall, he brought with him the idea of offering a kids triathlon event that had a great turn-out up north.

In the attempt to encourage children to get outside and be more active this summer, Wolf, who is a pastor at the Frost Seventh-day Adventist Church near Stanton, is coordinating the inaugural Mid-Montcalm Youth Triathlon, which will be held Aug. 27 at Montcalm Community College (MCC).

“I’ve done this for two years in Gaylord and it’s been a great event,” said Wolf, who has already procured many local businesses to sponsor the event. “It’s a lot of fun for kids, and even those kids who have ran triathlons before, this would be more of a speed triathlon for them.”

Since moving to the Stanton area, Pastor E.J. Wolf of Frost Seventh Day Adventist Church has been working on incorporating a kids triathlon event that worked well at his previous church in Gaylord. He’s also coordinating one in Alma, where he serves as pastor, as well.

Deadline to register is June 15 (though it may be extended to attract more participants) and training for the event is every Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at MCC, starting June 18.

Training includes youths keeping a journal and logging in their hours of training, in which the first 50 participants to do so will be eligible for a free bicycle, courtesy of local business sponsors.

“In order to qualify for the free bike, kids will have to come to every training event, where they will log in their training for swimming, biking and running,” Wolf said.

The August race will begin at 8 a.m. and will include an awards ceremony and post-race celebration at noon. Check-in starts at 7:30 a.m.

For participants ages 6-8, the goal is to swim 50 yards, bike two miles and run 500 feet; ages 9-11 is swimming 100 yards, biking four miles and running one mile; while ages 12-15 are expected to swim 150 yards, bike eight miles and run two miles.

“With our training events, we will take their photos, register them and get them to be familiar with our trainers,” Wolf said. “We’ll also give them great health nuggets, foods that are nutritional for them when it comes to biking, swimming and running. They’ll then do a 10-minute warm-up and then learn techniques on being better at those skills.”

Wolf said the Aug. 27 event is not considered a competitive event as much as it is a self-improvement event.

“Every kid will receive a medallion,” Wolf said. “We want to motivate these kids to keep exercising. With the training, it will help them to compete against their own goals, keeping progress week by week.”

Wolf said children who want to participate but don’t know how to swim can be assisted with a life jacket.

For MCC, the opportunity to make its facilities available to the surrounding communities is a new agenda, according to MCC Director of Facilities Taylor Male.

“We’re doing new things in our recreational department. Part of that is getting more engagments and getting more community-involved with our recreational facilities,” Male said. “An event like this opens the door for us and the communities. It basically takes the cover off and shows what we’re capable of and what we have to offer at MCC.”

Though MCC’s pool is typically closed for the summer, it will reopen for the Mid-Montcalm Youth Triathlon events.

To register, go to www.signmeup.com/118817, or call E.J. Wolf at (989) 858-6741 for more information.

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