5NEWS Fit: TRI For Kids

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

FORT SMITH (KFSM)-- Triathlons aren’t just for adults anymore. For the past eight years, the Marvin Altman Fitness Center has been organizing a ‘Tri for Kids.’

Swimming, biking and running make up the three-sport athletic completion. Coordinator Bob Harper has tailored a race to appeal to kids ages 14 and under.

“I was heavily into triathlons, and I wanted to start kids at a younger age and let them grow into possibly doing adult triathlons,” he said.

Distances participants will swim depend on their age group. For example, kids four and under will swim 25 yards, bike a half mile and run a quarter of a mile. Those that are 13 and 14 are required to swim 200 yards, bike 3.5 miles and run about two miles.

“Each kid is gonna do everything,” Harper said. “Were gonna start waves in our swimming pool of about 7 or 8 kids at a time and then they'll do their swim, they'll do the distance that they cover for their age group and then they'll go outside and they will bike on a closed Lexington Ave. and jog on Lexington as well.”

He said about 100 kids from all over the country take part in the Tri for Kids year after year.

“That's pretty good for this little area and we have people coming in from Kansas, Texas all over the place,” he said.

Harper’s mission in all of this is to encourage kids to start leading a healthy lifestyle at a young age.

“It's great to start a habit it's great to start a habit early, let them know that they can do these things not to be intimidated by exercise or something like that,” he said.

Head over to the Marvin Altman Fitness Center to sign up, or head over the Fort Smith Triathlons Facebook page to register and learn more.

The race takes place on Aug. 30. You must register your child before Aug. 22. It costs $25 before Aug. 18 and $35 for late applicants. All the proceeds go to benefit the Gregory Kistler Treatment Center, Inc.