Around 120-150 athletes ages 5 through 14 will test their endurance Saturday in the Youth Lions Triathlon at Wilson’s Beach Club in Columbia. The athletes will try to prove they have what it takes to finish the competition while also showing they care about their fellow Missourians.
The proceeds from the event will go to the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation which provides help to Missourians with vision problems. This is the first time the organization, with support from UltraMax Events, will sponsor the triathlon.
The young athletes will start the event with a splash at 8 a.m. A ride down the slide at Wilson’s Beach Club begins the swimming portion of the triathlon, with the biking and running portions of the event following.
The youth triathlon differs from regular triathlons because the event will be more tightly regulated. In adult triathlons, the different sections are open water and open road. No portion of the triathlon this weekend will be open, instead each area will be roped off to encourage safety of the athletes.
”There’s a lot more control in the youth type events,” race director Mark Livesay said. “We’re really trying to get kids active again, but not make it too difficult that they wear themselves them out.”
The event not only serves the foundation but also provides a way for children to get out and be active.
“It’s an awesome event,” Livesay said. “It’s made where the kids can participate on the level they want. They can walk the running portion, use training wheels during the bike part. ...It’s just an awesome way to introduce them to new stuff.”
Late registration is available from 4-7 p.m. today at 404 Portland Street. There is a $25 entry fee.