NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- For the 3rd consecutive year, the Nashville Kids Triathlon will maintain its place as the largest kids triathlon in Tennessee. This Sunday, more than 700 kids (ages 6 to 15) and 3,000 spectators will swarm Centennial Park.
"As active members of the community, we are always searching for ways to make our hometown a better place to live, and this event embodies that spirit," said Journey Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. "We are proud to partner with Vanderbilt and the Titans to help show kids that being healthy and active can be fun."
"This is a proactive effort in our fight against childhood obesity, and it encourages families to make positive decisions that will last a lifetime," said Margaret G. Rush, M.D., Chief of Staff of Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
"The Play 60 efforts continue to be a huge focus of our community programs," said Titans Vice President of Community Relations Bob Hyde. "We are proud to join many other NFL clubs across the nation in supporting the largest kid's triathlon series in the world."
According to Tom Gildersleeve, Event Director, the support of community leaders is equally important to the involvement of the kids and parents. Some of the event highlights include:
• The first, local event of the season for the 2012 Sports Illustrated SportsKids of the Year, Cayden and Conner Long of White House, TN. This will be their third Nashville Kids Triathlon, and they will be joined by three other teams pairing an able-bodied kid triathlete with a physically challenged athlete. These new teams were inspired by Cayden and Conner and will mark the first time ever that four such teams race together. In each case, one athlete will pull the other in a raft on the swim; bike with them; and push them through the run to the finish line. Adult "buddies" will accompany each team.
•More than 250 kids who will be the first in their families to complete a triathlon. This includes 220 kids who have participated in 7-week training programs at the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. These kids will join a very elite group on Sunday as less than 1% of all kids in the United States ever complete a triathlon.
• An innovative Group Fundraising Program will generate donations in excess of $4,000 for local teams, schools, churches and community organizations. Through this effort, 23 groups have qualified to receive donations of at least $100 each. Team Stomp the Monster is one of the largest teams, and it is comprised of 61 kids who are raising money to help support cancer patients and their families when they need it most.
• The return of the Celebrity Big Kids™ race which provides positive role models for the kids and shows kids how important it is to take care of yourself, regardless of the profession you choose.
About the Nashville Kids Triathlon: Organized through Kids Triathlon, Inc. (a 501c(3) organization based in Jacksonville, FL), the Nashville Kids Triathlon is the primary fundraising event for a year-around outreach program to introduce kids to the benefits of a healthy, active and responsible lifestyle. All activities are coordinated by a local Organizing Committee with 100% of the proceeds staying in the local community. During 2013, more than $14,000 and 500 hours of help will be donated to "healthy kid" initiatives across Middle Tennessee.
Schedule of Events for May 18 & 19, 2013: Race weekend is spread over parts of 2 days. The festivities kick-off Saturday afternoon at 4:00pm with Packet Pick-Up and the Event Expo. Saturday is highlighted by the Pep Rally (starts at 5:30pm) featuring welcomes from local officials, introductions of the 2013 Celebrity Big Kids and a motivational speech by Almon Gunter. Sunday morning is race day with transition opening at 6:15am and the races starting at 8:00am. Celebrity Big Kids™ will race with the kids throughout the morning.
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 4 components – swimming, biking, running and transitions. There are 2 divisions in kids races with the Juniors (10 years old & under) completing a 100 yard swim; 3 mile bike and 0.5 mile run. The Seniors (ages 11 – 15) complete double the distances (200 yard swim; 6 mile bike; and 1 mile run).