After swimming, triathletes transitioned to bikes, and then finished with a run.

On July 10, between 8 and 10 a.m., 174 youth ranging in age from 5 to 14 took part in the 8th Annual McGaw YMCA Youth Triathlon at Evanston Township High School.  Approximately 100 people volunteered to help with the triathlon, guiding participants through transitions and along the triathlon routes. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois was a Leading the Way sponsor.

Five- to 6-year olds completed a 50-yard swim and a 0.4-mile-run; 7-10-year olds completed a 100-yard swim, a 2.5-mile bike course, and a 0.7-mile run; 11-14- year olds completed a 200-yard swim, a 4-mile-bike course, and a 1.5-mile-run. Except for the youngest group, participants wore a timing chip on their leg.

The swim took place at the ETHS swimming pool; portions of Dodge Avenue and Lake Street were closed for the bike course; longer distance runners ran on the sidewalk around the north, west, and south perimeters of ETHS; and all participants finished the course on ETHS’s outdoor track.

“Almost 200 participants from Evanston and beyond competed in the 8th Annual Youth Triathlon, supported by over 80 community volunteers,” said  Lori Siegel, McGaw YMCA Associate Operations Officer.

“With participants as young as 4 to our oldest racers at 14, there were so many great stories. One example was our final finisher in the 7 to 10 age group, who taught herself how to ride her bike the week before the race and wore a shirt that said ‘I am little, but I am!’ This event brings families together, encourages them to be active and hopefully creates a lifetime of physical activity and confidence,” Ms. Siegel added.

The first-place winners for their age and gender group are: Age 7-8, Male: Desi Israelite; Female: Mary Rohde • Age 9-10, Male: Xavier Garriques; Female: Lily Zehfuss • Age 11-12, Male: Bennett Lindberg; Female: Ellen Rohde • Age 13-14, Male: Joseph Rohde; Female: Alexis Fernando