Little Ironmen and Ironwomen
Appeal Staff Writer
When Kenny Calder ran through the finish chute Saturday morning at Mills Park he heard from the sidelines he was the second one through.
It was later, from his mom, that he found out he had taken first in the 11-12 age group of Capital City Kids Triathlon.
“My goal in life is to keep trying to do these and compete in Ironman Hawaii,” the 11-year-old from Reno said.
Kenny took first of 13 competitors in his age group. His little sister, Kaylie, 9, raced against 23 others in the 9-10 group. Other age groups were 13-14, 7-8 and 4-6.
“My favorite part is the running because I love to run,” Kaylie said. “It comes from Mom. She always ran.”
Kenny and Kaylie’s mom, Kristie, graduated from Carson High School in 1985.
She ran track in high school for Coach Jim Frank and does cross-country now.
“(This) is just great for their confidence and for their health,” she said. “It’s good for them all the way around.”
The triathlon’s three parts of swimming, biking and running, comprise different distances for the various age groups.
The second annual triathlon was sponsored by Carson City Parks and Recreation.
But for Kenny, who wants to continue competing, this was his fourth triathlon.
He did one triathlon two years ago and two triathlons last year, coming in fifth in his age group at the large one in De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif.
“I think it’s great,” his mom said. “He watches Lance Armstrong on TV when he can. He watches Ironman. We have it recorded.”
Saturday’s competitors started off in the pool at the Carson City Recreation Center, exited out the doors, biked around Oxoby Loop at the park, then dropped their bikes and took off running – all in their bathing suits.
Near the bike loop, parents stood by, encouraging their children.
Some competitors seemed confused by all the yelling, direction and encouragement, others instinctively just dropped their bikes, tossed aside their helmets and took off running, despite the incoming bikes around them.
Kurt Meyer, director of aquatics at Mills Park, kept excited parents out of the way.
He directed bikers into the transition area and encouraged children coming in from the last segment, running, to the finish line.
“Way to smile,” he said as one girl ran past.
“Go hard through the finish line,” he said to another competitor. “Run, run.”
Abigail Pittman, 9, a student at Fritsch Elementary School, handled it all with grace. After a 100-meter swim in the pool, she got off to a slow start on her bike.
“When I switched into high gear, there was something wrong with the chain,” she said.
Scott Keith, Carson City Parks and Recreation Supervisor, went out to assist her and got her on the way in the 1.3 mile bike portion.
She ran four-tenths of a mile before finishing.
She said she wants to keep competing because “it’s something to do” and that she wants “to get better.”
So what does a triathlete in the Carson City Kids’ Triathlon do after a competition?
Cool down with lots of fluids, hang out and watch younger siblings, and then, according to Kenny, go home and relax.
“They get to have anything they want,” his mom said. “Chocolate shakes, Slurpees, whatever they want.”
n Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.
13-14 age group
First: Nick Schlager, 20:50
Second: Matthew Picken, 23:44
Third: Collin Gerischott, 26:24
11-12 age group
First: Kenny Calder, 19:34
Second: Alexandra Schlager, 20:06
Third: Kyle Councilman, 20:52
9-10 age group
First: Alexander Picken, 11:00
Second: John Rohr, 11:20
Third: Shawn Kessler, 11:21
7-8 age group
First: Tallon Rauch, 7:38
Second: Kacey Meyer, 7:58
Third: Conner Novak, 8:10
4-6 age group
FIrst: Harry Meyer, 7:30
Second: Jensen Beard, 7:53
Third: Reed Lequerica, 7:57