Families stay healthy together at youth triathlon

Parents and their children were out in force competing in the second Ponoka Youth Triathlon on Father’s Day, June 17.

Joshua Paquette listens to music to keep him company on the way to the river valley trails.

Joshua Paquette listens to music to keep him company on the way to the river valley trails.

Parents and their children were out in force competing in the second Ponoka Youth Triathlon on Father’s Day, June 17. Youths from ages six to 18 swam, biked, and ran a designated course to challenge their stamina.

A first for this year was an adult category, added at the last minute, which organizer Staff Sgt. Cameron Chisholm said was used as a way to entice parents to join their children. He was glad to see contestants seemed to enjoy the experience.

Fire Chief Ted Dillon felt the day went well. “It’s good to see families together.”

The Rotary Club of Ponoka sponsored the after-race barbecue, and president Melodie Woods also raced. It was the hardest thing I think I’ve ever done.”

Woods said based on the amount of adults who competed, next year will most likely include an adult category.

The race started at the aquaplex with laps at the pool, after which, they jumped on their bikes taking a designated route along Highway 53 and then past the Scouts Hall and the river valley trails. The last leg of the race was a run along a similar route.

Approximately 54 youths competed with nine adults in the mix.

Karen David competed with her kids Emily and Josh.

“I wanted to see if I could do it. It feels good.”

Daughter Emily said running was the hardest part of the race for her. “I had three glasses of water when it ended.”

Lisa Hollingsworth was another parent who competed with her child. She admitted to being fairly tired after the race but enjoyed the family time.

“It’s a great way to do something healthy as a family. It’s good for kids to see their parents being physically active. Sometimes you have to put yourself out there as an adult,” she said.

Woods was proud to bring more focus to youth and having them think about an active lifestyle. She credited Chisholm for planning the event.

“He does such an amazing job of organizing it.”

Here are the top times for each category:

• 6 to 7 years: Tegan Lefebvre, total time 9:26.

• 8 to 9 years: Kate Hollingsworth, 13:02.

• 10 to 11 years: Noah Hackett, 22:40.

• 12 to 13 years: Skye Whitford, 29:34.

• 14 to 15 years: Brenna McCaughey: 32:59.

• 16 to 18 years: Caleb Froese, 30:37.

• Adults: Minette van der Westhuizen, 38:43.