SIKESTON - As a child growing up, summers are often spent swimming, running and riding bikes, but when the three are put together it makes for an exciting test of strength and endurance. This test is now being put to area youngsters in the "Fins and Feet Youth Triathalon" scheduled for Aug. 23 at the Sikeston Country Club.
Dr. Cully Bryant, one of the individuals responsible for bringing the triathalon to Sikeston, said he felt it is something that is needed here.
"I got into (triathalons) two years ago and noticed youth triathalons in Memphis, Columbia and St. Louis but none in this area," Bryant said. "I thought having a triathalon here would be a good chance to introduce kids to the sport and being a doctor, I also thought it would be a good opportunity to get kids starting to exercise and get into good health habits."
A triathalon consists of swimming, then riding a bike followed by running a certain distance.
"You transition from one event to another without a break," Bryant said. "I think folks sometimes get it confused with the Ironman Triathalon which distances are much greater."
A traditional Ironman Triathalon consists of swimming 2.4 miles followed by riding a bike 112 miles and then a 26.2 mile run. However the distances for the Sikeston triathalon are much, much less.
"It is going to be very low key," said Bryant. "The distances are going to be very representative of the area."
The event is slated to be split into three age groups. The 8-9 year olds will have a 100-yard swim followed by a two mile bike ride and a 0.6 mile run. The 10-12 division will have a 100-yard swim followed by a 3.6 mile bike ride and a one mile run. The 13-15 division will have a 200-yard swim, a 6.1 mile bike ride and a 1.6 mile run. There will be separate divisions for boys and girls.
"It is going to be an extremely relaxed atmosphere," Bryant said. "We are not going to enforce a lot of the rules that triathalons normally have. We are going to allow parents to help in the transition areas put on their children's helmets and shoes and things like that."
Since triathalons are new to the area, interest is a concern for Bryant.
"There has been a lot of interest but that hasn't translated into a lot of people signing up and it is beginning to worry me," said Bryant, who also added that the event can hold up to 60 entries.
"I would love to see 60 sign up," Bryant said.
Trophies for first place will be awarded in each age group and medals will be given to each competitor who finishes the race. A T-shirt will also be given to all participants.
The entry fee for the event is $20 if postmarked by Aug. 9 and $25 after that date. All proceeds will benefit