Summer Triathlon for Kids

Nearly two dozen kids in Houston’s inner-city will do doing something a bit unusual this summer. They’ll spend their summer training for — and doing — a triathlon. Jim Bell reports.

The triathlon camp is cosponsored by a private nonprofit group that designs triathlon training and fitness programs for kids. Coordinator Dr. Charles Moser says the program starts Monday and goes every day through August 2nd, and at the end of the program the kids will do a swim-bike-run triathlon made just for them.

“They will swim 200 meters, they will bike a 5 kilometer course, which is 3.1 miles, and then they will run 2 kilometers, which is about one and a quarter miles.”

So, starting Monday, not quite two dozen kids will begin training for that triathlon at Texas Southern University, under coaches who know what they’re doing.

“This is not a just jump in the water and swim for 30 minutes, or let’s all go for a run. They’ll be taught proper technique, they’ll be taught how to stretch. It’s all very scripted.”

Moser says along with the obvious health and fitness benefits, this program is built around the observation that most kids want to be like people they think are “cool”. The goal is to help kids learn to choose the right “cool” people to look up to.

“What we hope that they find is that they feel cool about themselves, and that they can be the cool ones. And when the guy comes and says hey let’s smoke a cigarette, they say no I think I’m gonna go for a swim instead.”

Moser says the hope is to make this an annual event and get more kids involved at more locations around the city, which is why the Houston Parks and Recreation Department is one of the cosponsors.

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.