Triathlon benefits district students, schools
MCPASD students who want to help their schools financially and work out a little can do both by participating in the Tri 4 Schools Kids Triathlon on Saturday in Middleton.
The second annual triathlon begins at 8:30 a.m. at Bauman Aquatic Center. The oldest competitors will go first this year.
More than 330 children had signed up for the event as of Thursday morning, said Katie Hensel, president and founder of Tri 4 Schools. Last year, 413 participated in the inaugural triathlon, although she expects another 30-40 children to sign up on Friday and Saturday.
The triathlon was held on Aug. 20 last year but due to conflicts with the pool and some MHS facilities the only date available in 2012 was Aug. 4. The All-City Swim Meet also runs from Thursday through Saturday and is held at Hawks Landing on Madison’s far west side.
“It's a little less than last year and I'm guessing that’s because of the All-City Swim Meet,’’ she said. “It’s impacted things a little.’’
Still, the numbers have far exceeded what Hensel expected when she started it last year.
“ My expectation was to get 200 kids, so we blew that away,’’ she said. “It's already grown way beyond what we expected.’’
Children in the 3-6 year-old age group will swim 25 yards, bike one-third of a mile and run about one-quarter of a mile. The 7-10 year-old age group will swim 75 yards, bike 2¼ miles and run a half-mile. Older children competing will swim 125 yards, bike 4½ miles and run a mile.
The swimming portion of the triathlon takes place at the Bauman Aquatic Center. The biking will take place in the surrounding neighborhoods. The younger children will run on the MHS practice field area, while the older age groups will run on the Pheasant Branch Conservancy trail. All of the athletes will finish the competition at Firemen’s Park.
A number of Middleton streets will be closed during the triathlon. For a list of list of those streets, please visit the event’s website, www.tri4schools.com/middleton.
The entry fee is $30 for one child and $20 for every subsequent child from a family. Every dollar from the entry fee goes back to the school that the participate designates.
Last year, Northside led the way with 31 students who participated. Hensel said the school received about $825, which was used to help buy physical education equipment.
Lindberg Elementary, 4500 Kennedy Road in Madison, leads the way this year with about 50 children signed up. The top MCPASD schools, Hensel said, are Elm Lawn and Park with about 25 children apiece.
And why did Hensel pick the Good Neighbor city?
“We decided on Middleton because it seems like a very active community and the facilities are great,’’ said Hensel, who added a second triathlon in Waunakee this year in May and a run in Madison in June. “It's a community that's really welcoming to outside groups. I thought it would be a neat event to add to the whole spectrum of events that you can do in Middleton.’’