Whether it was for the competition or just for fun, about 150 children and their families turned out Saturday for the eighth annual Kids Triathlon at Mills Park and Carson Aquatic Center.
"Our kids have been doing this for three years - Bryce won third last year and Evan fifth, so we're hoping to improve and just hoping to have fun," said Carson City's Carol Peterson of her twin sons.
"They've been swimming since they were 10 months old, riding since they could reach the pedals and running since they could walk," she said. "It's great for them to get to know people in their community that they don't regularly do sports with, and to support the community with an inexpensive entry fee."
Evan agreed that he likes "to run, bike and swim," and Bryce said he "likes to be competitive."
The Capital City Kids' Triathlon swim-bike-run event offered divisions for ages 14-18, 11-13, 9-10, 7-8, and 4-6.
For 8-year-old Karen Beglin, the triathlon was a natural activity because she considers herself very active. "I like to bike ride and run and swim. I'm on the swim team, I like gymnastics and I like to golf," she said.
Her 10-year-old sister Jill decided to sit out this year, but their father Frank said both girls have participated in prior years. "It's a good community activity," he said.
The triathlon helps raise funds for the Carson Tigersharks each year, said Kurt Meyer, director of the aquatic facility. Participants received a Triathlon T-shirt and every finisher received a medal.
"I love doing this every year," he said. "We've got families here from Carson Valley, Tahoe and Reno."
Participating youngsters would likely agree that the triathlon was a great way to spend Saturday morning.
"I wanted to try to see if I could win," said 8-1/2-year-old Steven Middleton. "I just learned to swim so I wanted to see how well I could do - and I'm lucky because I have slip-on shoes (to put on quickly after the swim)."
Wendy Van Worth brought her 12-year-old son Konnor out for the competition.
"He won his age group today, and this all started for him three years ago here. He's done 15 triathlons since then. He was at Donner Lake last weekend and was the youngest one," Van Worth said.
Konnor said his secret to winning is that before a race, he drinks four to six bottles of water, but Mom said his training also includes running five to seven days a week, swimming three days a week and bicycling three to five days a week.
His goal is to run the Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, by age 18, she said.
For Jason Collin of South Lake Tahoe, who operates the Tahoe Tri Club, Saturday's event was an opportunity to bring his six young members out for a good competition.
"Our kids have all done great," he said. "We just started this year, and we got kind of a late start because everyone skied until June, but the kids have done two events so far on the south side of Sacramento."
The club's inaugural event, Tahoe Kids Triathlon, will be Aug. 28 at Tahoe Paradise Park, and he said he's hoping to get a good turnout from throughout the region. A free Tri Clinic will start at 9 a.m.