Washington Park kids excel in inaugural triathlon

Event launched with 104 participants last month

Shanna Fortier
Special to Washington Park Profile
Posted 11/7/19

Carter Theis, 10, crossed the balloon-arched finish line Oct. 13 with a huge smile on his face. Cheerleaders, a DJ and community supporters waited on the other side cheering on the finishers. This …

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Washington Park kids excel in inaugural triathlon

Event launched with 104 participants last month

Posted

Carter Theis, 10, crossed the balloon-arched finish line Oct. 13 with a huge smile on his face. Cheerleaders, a DJ and community supporters waited on the other side cheering on the finishers. This was Theis’ third triathlon. But many of his fellow athletes were competing in the swim, bike, run event for the first time.

Theis was one of 104 area youths ages 8 to 12 to compete in the first My Denver Youth TRY-athlon put on by Denver Parks and Recreation’s Washington Park Recreation Center.

“We’re just excited to offer it this to the community,” said Glen Batista, recreation supervisor for the Washington Park Recreation Center.

Batista said with the center’s resources of a pool, and the trails along the park, the triathlon seemed like a perfect fit.

The event hosted three divisions with distances varying in each. In the experienced division, athletes completed a 150-meter swim at the rec center pool before embarking on a 2.2-mile bike ride and a 1.2-mile run within the park.

The race was free for athletes to participate, but wasn’t timed.

“We wanted it to be accessible for all kids regardless of ability,” Batista said. “We’ll see if it makes sense in the future to add timing.”

He said staff will also assess to see if the distances need changing and if it would be better to hold the event during a warmer time of year. This year, the event was scheduled three days after an unexpected first snowfall of the season in Denver, which made it colder than originally anticipated.

No matter the changes, Batista said he would like to keep the triathlon as a free event.

“At Denver Parks and Rec, the whole idea is inclusivity — something for everybody,” he explained. “So we don’t want there to be any barriers with fees and registration.”

To find out about future events and happenings, visit denvergov.org/recreation.

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