Keiki Triathlon


With the Ironman World Championship behind us, feelings of inspiration and motivation may still linger, and possibly a desire to someday enter a triathlon yourself. Perhaps your children or another family member has caught the “triathlon bug” that thrives in its native habitat – Kona.

After the past two weeks of Ironman craze for the adults, tomorrow’s second annual Hawaii County Keiki Triathlon is a great opportunity for children to wet their toes and experience the challenges of participating in a multisport event.

Presented by the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation and Hawaii Isle Police Activities League, this entry-level race is ideal for beginners. With the goal of helping children learn the benefits of exercise while appealing to their interests and abilities, the Keiki Triathlon is sure to be a hit.

“We created a doable event to help kids build their self-esteem,” said Jason Armstrong, public information officer with the Parks Department. “We don’t want them to be discouraged, give up, or find that it’s too hard to complete.”

The event offers two fun distances. Children ages 7 and 8 will participate in the shorter course: a 50-yard pool swim at the Kona Community Aquatic Center, followed by 1.6-mile bike ride and ½-mile run around Old Kona Airport Park. Older children, ages 9 through 14, compete in a 100-yard swim, 3.2-mile ride and a one-mile run.

With more than 80 participants finishing last year’s inaugural event, Armstrong hopes for more this time, especially considering it comes one week after the Super Bowl of triathlons.

The Keiki Triathlon is held in conjunction with Mayor Billy Kenoi’s annual Health Fest scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Kekuaokalani Gymnasium.

In an effort to promote public health, wellness and education, the Health Fest will feature health screenings, demonstrations, informational booths and activities for keiki.

While the Health Fest is free and open to the public, entry into the Keiki Triathlon is $5 per participant. Registration forms will be accepted until 120 participants are signed up. For more information contact Jason Armstrong at 345-9105, or visit hawaiicounty.gov/parks-and-recreation.

Sunday’s The Morning After Triathlon drew nearly two-dozen athletes sporting speedy tri-suits eager to take on Team Mango’s newest event. The sprint distance ½-mile swim at Magic Sands, 14-mile bike and 3-mile run along Alii Drive proved to be the perfect remedy for those still reeling in awe and admiration from the previous night’s main event.

In the men’s sprint, Tim Woop led wire-to-wire for the overall win, posting the fastest splits for the swim (7:50), bike (37:23) and run (19:23) to win in 1:04:36. John Bye tried to keep it close as he followed a few minutes back in second place at 1:08:52.

Top female Madi Serpico of Alberta, Canada, finished third overall in an outstanding time of 1:11:26. Sean Bourque did his best to keep ahead of Kona’s Jennifer Nottage, finishing in fourth place with a time of 1:14:28. Nottage rounded out the speedy top five in a great time of 1:16:18.

Coming up this weekend is Saturday’s second annual Honokaa 5K and Half Marathon, Plus 30K Waipio Challenge. The races will begin at the Honokaa Sports Complex with a 6 a.m. start time for the 30K, and 6:30 start for 5K and half-marathon distances. Online entries received today are $30 for the 5K, $75 for half marathon and $85 for 30K. A $5 late fee will be added for race-day entries, accepted from 5:30 a.m. at the Honokaa Sports Complex. For more information contact Steve Pavao 430-0267 or visit thebrantleycenter.org.

On Sunday, Team Mango will hold its Post-Ironman Sprint Triathlon at the Kailua Pier. Mass beach swim start time is 7 a.m. for the ¼-mile swim, 10-mile bike and 2-mile run. Prerace registration begins at 5:30 a.m. at Kailua Pier. More information can be found at teammango.org.

On Oct. 26, PATH will hold the Run For the Dry Forest 10K, 5K and keiki races at Puuwaawaa Ranch. Start time for these off-road trail runs is 7:45 a.m., with registration beginning at 6. Entry fee is $30 for adults and $15 for children 14 and younger, which includes a T-shirt, if postmarked by Oct. 21. A $10 late fee is added to entries received thereafter, and a T-shirt is not guaranteed.

Also on Oct. 26, the Kealakehe Waverider Triathlon Club will host the Race The Reaper 5K at 5 p.m. at the Kona Community Aquatic Center. This Halloween themed race is a benefit for the Kealakehe Waverider Triathlon Club, with an entry fee of $12 until Sunday; $15 from Monday until race day.

Rounding out October’s schedule is Peaman’s Thrash and Dash Biathlon on Oct. 27. Start time for this free 1/3-mile swim and 2-mile run is 8:03 a.m. Masks, snorkels and fins are welcome.