Share |

Saturday, August 11, 2007 -- Allison Park, PA / North Park Pool
2nd Annual North Park Kids Triathlon (iPO Event Id#: 10380)

2007: [Photos] [Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Encouraging Our Children, Inspiring Ourselves

Story by Julie Black with photos by Maria af Rolén

Kids Tri photo by Maria af Rolen
Kids Tri photo by Maria af Rolen
The "anti-obesity" backlash is a concern today in America. The news spouts more and more head-lines reading "War on Obesity" and "Fat America." The offensive and most often intrusive utterings of "get-up," "get active," and "off the couch" has become at best, a cliché, in a land where fast food joints, fresh donuts, and creamy lattes are the norm. What ever happened to just,"Hey kids, get out there and have some fun."

If exercise is presented as work, then who in their right mind would want to do it? You don't get paid to do it, so why bother right?

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has found a way through children. Their solution is a children's triathlon series. Cheering and encouraging our children is a natural thing. Seeing them enjoy exercising is inspiring, and working on a routine with them in order to prepare for the event, well, its fun! Now that's something we can all get into.

For the past two years the North Park Habitat for Humanity Kid's Triathlon has been carefully organized by a dedicated crew. The event grew to little over 300 participants this year, children as a matter of fact, ages 7-12. There were also about that many volunteers. In July, South Park's pool saw over 190 children participating in their triathlon.

Kids Tri photo by Maria af Rolen
Kids Tri photo by Maria af Rolen
According to Pamela Starr's story in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, ["Jackie Kallal Langton, co-founder of the kids' triathlon died of liver cancer in March. Her name was displayed at both North and South Park children's triathlons this year.

Kallal Langton, a wife and mother of two girls, co-founded the kids' triathlon series in Pittsburgh as a benefit for Pittsburgh's Habitat for Humanity.

Jackie was absolutely tireless and enthusiastic about the kid's series, interested in health programs for children, she talked about triathlons. The two races have raised more than $250,000 to date for Habitat."]

Every finisher and volunteer in 2007 received a T-shirt with the words "In Memory of Jackie Kallal Langton."

Kids Tri photo by Maria af Rolen
Kids Tri photo by Maria af Rolen
The event began with a thank you from the Senator's representative and the singing of the National Anthem by Mrs. Pennsylvania. Then it was time to hit the pool. The children swam 50 or 100 meters, biked 1 mile to 2.4 miles, and ran one-half mile or 1 mile depending on their age.

Kids were paired in small groups, and guided by a slew of volunteers. Crowds of parents, family members, and friends cheered from the parking lot as child after child ran from the transition area to either mount or dismount their bike.

Pink tassels, shining spokes, you name it, every type of bike was seen and every type of helmet. It's only the beginning for this trend of exciting events for PA.

Other states have taken notice of the benefits. On Sunday, September 2, 2007, a Kids Triathlon will take place at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Charleston, West Virginia. For more information call the Charleston Parks and Recreation at (304)348-8008.