On July 9, between 8 and 10:30 a.m., 175 youth ranging in age from 5 to 14 took part in the 9th Annual McGaw YMCA Youth Triathlon at Evanston Township High School. 

Approximately 100 people volunteered to help with the triathlon, guiding participants through transitions from swimming to biking and biking to running, and along the triathlon routes. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois was a 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.

Many volunteers and parents encouraged the triathaletes along the route. Some passed out drinks at various stations.

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.

All youth finishing the course received a finishers medal and a race bag.

McGaw YMCA Senior Director Lori Siegel said, “The turnout for McGaw YMCA’s 9th Annual Youth Triathlon was excellent,” with 175 participants, including 30 5-6 year olds who joined the Splash and Dash portion.

Cameron McBride completed in his 9th McGaw Triathlon, and looks forward to volunteering for the race next year now that he’s aged out. 

“We intentionally make the McGaw YMCA Youth Tri as supportive and family-friendly as possible, so that all the participants build confidence,” Ms. Siegel said.  “We want to thank Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois for their support and volunteers, as well as the City of Evanston and Evanston Township High School. And now, we’re looking forward to celebrating our 10th Youth Tri next summer.”

 The first-place winners for their age and gender group are:

Age 7-8, Male: Benjamin Knupp;  Female: Kate Pakula; 

Age 9-10, Male: Rayburn Kohl;  Female: Lily Zehfuss;

Age 11-12, Male: Andrew Rohde; Female: Haley Knupp;

Age 13-14, Male: Joseph Rohde; Female: Ellen Rohde