ROXBURY, NJ – Last week’s kids’ triathlon at Horseshoe Lake drew 165 young participants, said Roxbury Recreation Program Director Sandie DiDomenico, who's already looking forward to next year’s installment.

The event took place Thursday. It was sponsored by the recreation department and Marty’s Reliable Cycle.

“The Tri Harder Kids Triathlon was a success,” she said. “We had 165 girls and boys ages four to 12 participate. Depending on the age group, each child swam between 25 meters to 100 meters, biked between one-half to two miles and ran between a quarter-mile and a mile-and-a half.”

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Roxbury Councilman Fred Hall presented all participants with a medal and Roxbury Councilman Mark Crowley gave each a certificate for a “Skyscraper” ice cream treat from Cliff’s Ice Cream in Ledgewood, said DiDomenico.

“Hillside Church and the First Presbyterian Church of Succasunna provided volunteers, along with Roxbury Recreation’s lifeguards and camp counselors,” she said. “The event received significant positive feedback from the community and is planned again for next summer.”

Marty’s Reliable Cycle owner Marty Epstein went to several municipalities several years ago and convinced them to have the event. He said the Tri Harder Kids Triathlons usually get 100 to 150 participants.

“I have a degree in recreation and I always like to do things that are more inclusive and promote things that are sometimes less competitive,” Epstein said. “The idea was to encourage children to get involved in sports and an active lifestyle … It’s been a really successful program, one of the most well-liked programs we do.”

All money raised goes to the municipality’s recreation department. “We just help market it and they facilitate each program on their own,” said Epstein, noting he is thrilled to see his 5-year-old and 7-year-old grandchildren participating.