TAMPA, Fla. – On Saturday, March 9, the Inaugural Tampa Bay Kids Triathlon was held at Busch Gardens’ Adventure Island. Over 200 participants, ranging from ages seven to 15, descended upon the water park to conquer their respective triathlon courses in front of hundreds of spectators,
After a stirring rendition of the National Anthem by Macy Kate, of ‘ The X-Factor’ fame, the varsity division (ages 11-15), hit the down current water as their 200 meter swim soon gave way to a three mile bike, before transitioning into a one mile run around the Busch Gardens property.
Being cheered on by parents, relatives, and friends alike, each competitor managed to joyfully reach the sand bar finish where they were recognized for their achievement with a Levy Awards’ Finisher’s Medal. Still, as with every competition, a winner must be crowned and the inaugural victory went to Lauren Garriques of Lake Forest as she broke the tape with a time of 18:17, thirty seconds ahead of Noah Raecek of Seminole, the first boys finisher.
As the varsity started to settle into their event, the junior varsity division (ages 7-10), flanked by a host of Busch Gardens and Adventure Island entertainment, leaped into Adventure Island’s lazy river. Each participant, many competing in their first triathlon, braved a 100 meter swim, a 1.5 mile bike ride, and half-mile run. Braxton Legg proved to be tops of the bunch this day as he beat the sold-out junior varsity field by more than two minutes with a time of 14:06.
In addition to the race day theatrics, the post-event festivities were nearly as exciting as Gavin Miller was selected as the lucky winner of the Cycle Sports Concepts Dolce Specialized Kids Bike. Meanwhile, the three top winners from each age group also received a special prize as they won a free visit to Adventure Island. Their parents also collected a nice bonus as they took home a pair of tickets to Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Nation Tour kickoff show at Raymond James Stadium on March 16.
An incredible experience from start to finish, each attendee made it a priority to get active, get healthy and, ultimately, have a lot of fun at a groundbreaking event. Friends were made and proud moments shared, but at the end of the triathlon each person, no matter the involvement, left with a grinning smile from ear to ear.