The Tri Harder Kids Triathlon in Roxbury was canceled last month due to thunderstorms. It's now scheduled for Aug. 25. This is a reprint, with minor edits, of an article that ran last month.
ROXBURY, NJ – Not every town has a public lake with a beach that’s right next to a paved path for running and bicycling. Roxbury does, and that’s what makes it dandy for nextThursday’s Tri Harder Kids Triathlon, said Roxbury Recreation Department Program Director Sandie DiDomenico.
It’s almost as if Horseshoe Lake Park was made with the annual event in mind.
“We definitely are fortunate to have the perfect spot to run this event,” said DiDomenico. “We have a beach right next to a walking path, so we have the ability to have kids bike on a segment of path and run on a second segment of the path. And it’s a very safe location.”
Thursday’s installment will be the fourth for Roxbury. The triathlon – where participants swim, bike and run – draws about 200 young competitors, said DiDomenico. The event is sponsored by Marty’s Reliable Cycle with support from Hillside Lutheran Brethren Church, the First Presbyterian Church of Succasunna and Cliff’s Ice Cream.
The competition is broken up into age groups. Kids between 4 years old and 6 years old will swim 25 yards, bike a half-mile and run a quarter mile. Those aged 7 to 8 will swim 25 yards, bike a mile and swim a half-mile.
Nine- and 10-year-olds swim 50 yards, bike two miles and run a half-mile. The swim increases to 75 yards for 11- to 12-year-olds, who bike two miles and run a mile. The oldest age group, the 13- and 14-year-olds swim 100 yards, bike two miles and swim a mile and a half.
The event costs $10 per child and all participants must be accompanied by a guardian or parent. There is online pre-registration available or kids can be registered at Horseshoe Lake up until noon on Thursday, said DiDomenico.
“We always hear how much the kids love this event,” she said. “They love to have the numbers put on their arms. They love to participate in all three segments of the event. The kids are very proud of themselves when they cross the finish line and that’s what it all about: It’s about finishing and participating.
DiDomenico stressed that the Tri Harder Kids Triathlon will take place even if it’s raining. The only thing that will force her to pull the plug is thunderstorms, she said.
The events begin at 5:15 p.m. Participants should remember to bring sunscreen, swimming goggles, a towel, extra socks, sneakers, their bicycles and bike helmets and hand towels to clean their feet after the swimming portion.
DiDomenico stressed that fun, not competition, is the goal. Everybody gets a participation medal and times aren’t certified.