Youth triathlon set for Aug. 8

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Youth ages 7-16 are invited to take part in the fifth annual Chile Harvest Youth Triathlon 6 p.m. Aug. 8.

Photo courtesy of Webb Photography: A young athlete prepares to cross the finish line during last year’s Chile Harvest Youth Triathlon at New Mexico Tech.

New Mexico Tech plays host to the event, as young athletes will run, bike and swim on campus.

The goal of the race is to provide a safe and short-distanced triathlon event for children in central New Mexico, according to one of the organizers Lynette Napier.

“We’re trying to keep children fit and help them have some fun doing it,” she said.

The event, put on by Socorro Striders and Riders, precedes the adult triathlon which begins at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 9.

Last year’s youth triathlon attracted around 55 children, Napier said. That included local athletes from the Socorro Stingrays swim club and kids from all over New Mexico. Napier emphasized the event is open to children living in Socorro, Sierra, Valencia counties and other parts of central New Mexico.

“A sad thing is there aren’t a lot of youth triathlons in New Mexico,” she added.

This is a timed youth triathlon, and each child will receive a triathlon shirt, a water bottle, free snacks and water/drinks. Free pizza is served after the event.

Medals will be given for first, second and third places for each age group. Each child who finishes will be given a special triathlon medal.

Athletes should arrive at Tech an hour before the event begins. Tech police and over 30 volunteers will be on hand to help keep the children safe. Children must wear a bike helmet and have their bike and helmet checked by the race director.

Event organizers strive to keep the price of the 2014 Chile Youth Triathlon affordable for children in Socorro, Sierra and Valencia Counties.

The fee is $5 plus a $10 United States Association of Triathlon insurance fee. This price is in place through Aug. 7. If parents sign their children up online at www.newmexicosportsonline.com, they need to pick the category “Socorro County $5.” If families need help with fees, please call Napier at 505-363-3361 or 835-2970. The Socorro Striders and Riders do offer $5-$10 discounts.

The distances the children swim, bike and run depends on their age as follows:

• 7-8 years : swim 50 yards, bike 2K, run 1K

• 9-10 years: swim 100 yards, bike 4K, run 1K

• 11-12 years: swim 150 yards, bike 6K, run 2K

• 13-14 years: swim 200 yards, bike 6K, run 2K

• 15-16 years: swim 200 yards, bike 6K, run 2K

Registration is online at www.newmexicosportsonline.com, or registration forms can be mailed to Socorro Striders and Riders, P.O. Box 1508, Socorro, NM 87801. Race day registration, will run 2 to 5 p.m. on Aug. 8. For more information, visit www.chileharvesttri.com.

“A number of these children will go on to do the adult triathlon,” Napier said. “It gets them ready.”