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Published: Friday, 6/7/2013

Splash and Dash triathlon for children set for Saturday

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER

With the beautiful weather in Sylvania, two residents are encouraging children to learn multiple sports and stay active during the summer months by hosting a mini triathlon.

Husband and wife Jim and Joyce Donaldson, who host several triathlons throughout the year, are sponsoring the first Splash and Dash event this Saturday at Olander Park.

“It is just such an accomplishment to face something you haven’t done before and a great way to get outside and do an activity outside,” Mr. Donaldson said.

He and Mrs. Donaldson thought that having an event that includes two different physical activities, swimming and running, as a great way for kids to get out and do something different, he said.

The USA Triathlon, a governing national body, is coordinating the USAT Splash and Dash Youth Aquathlon for the second year. About 40 splash and dashes will take place this year.

Mr. Donaldson said that the focus of the race is not so much competition as just participation. Everyone will receive a finisher’s medal along with a T-shirt.

There will be two age brackets: 7- to 10-year-olds will swim 100 yards in the lake, than rush to prepare for a 1 kilometer (a little over a half mile) run. The distance is doubled for the older bracket that will include 11- to 15-year-olds.

A great way to expose children to challenges of a multi-athletic event, the Splash and Dash is being held just before the Aug. 10 Sylvania SuperKids Triathlon and Fun Run, that has extended mileage and includes biking.

As for this weekend's race, Mr. Donaldson said he thinks that swimming in Olander Park’s lake, which has a current, might not be as easy as it looks.

“I think that the swimming is the hardest part. It’s different than swimming in a pool,” Mr. Donaldson said.

Entry fee is $30, participants can register at the race or online at eliteendeavors.com, under Events. The event starts at 7:30 a.m., at Olander Park Lake, 6930 Sylvania Ave.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com



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