BLUE EARTH - The Fourth Annual Blue Earth Area Kids Fun Triathlon on Aug. 2 will challenge kids to do their best, says co-organizer Melissa McGuire.
As K-8 principal at Blue Earth Area Schools, McGuire knows the district's wellness policy isn't just for the school year; children need fitness all year round.
"Our goal was to provide opportunities for children in our communities to have events to enhance their physical activity," McGuire said. "They all swim, bike and run during the summer. [We thought], 'Let's put something together for them.'"
Even youth who haven't been as active can participate.
"Try something outside their comfort zone because until you try it, you don't know," she said.
The event is open to all kids, ages 5-14, whether they attend Blue Earth Area or not. And it's not a competition.
"There's not a first, second or third place because we want it to be fun," McGuire said. "We don't want kids to feel there's a loser in this event. We just want them to finish and have that sense of accomplishment."
She has seen some children who have participated each year working to better their own performance.
"We do keep a time for them personally," McGuire said. "We want them to achieve toward their personal best."
The event is also on Facebook and Twitter under Blue Earth Area Triathlon (BEAT).
Participants will need a swimsuit, two towels, a helmet, shirt, shorts, socks and tennis shoes.
The events begin at 9 a.m. There is a $10 fee to participate.
Events are broken into age groups: 5-7, 8-10 and 11-14.
The 5-7 year-olds will swim 15 meters (or once across the short length of the pool); bike one mile and run a quarter mile.
The 8-10 year-olds will swim 25 meters (or once the long way down the pool); bike one and a half miles; and run a half mile.
The 11-14 year-olds will swim 50 meters (or down and back the long way of the pool); bike three miles and run one mile.
The course for each age group will be marked and volunteers will be on hand to help direct them.
"We'd love to see spectators come cheer the kids on," McGuire said. "It's not always easy for some of these kids; having that support helps."