If your kids have spent the summer swimming, biking and running, then they’ve been training for their first triathlon, whether they know it or not. Youth triathlons have been gaining in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. They are great for keeping children active and encouraging them to challenge themselves. Also, they’re a ton of fun! Here are some upcoming kids’ triathlons around Chicagoland. These are great for tweens and teens, but some of them offer options for younger kids, too.
Sunday, July 9
Building confidence is in the wheelhouse of the McGaw YMCA, which hosts this triathlon at Evanston Township High School. Two age groups, ages 7-10 and ages 11-14, can participate in the triathlons; the distances vary by age group. The 5-6 year old age group’s event is a Splash and Dash which does not include biking. Note that a mandatory race expo takes place the day before the race.
Saturday, July 29
Both new and experienced youth athletes can enter the youth triathlon hosted by the St. Charles Park District. Participants will swim the Crayfish Canal at Otter Cove Aquatic Park, run the trails and grassy areas and bike a closed parking lot course in James O. Breen Community Park. Distances vary by age group, with one group for kids ages 5-7, another for ages 8-10 and a third for ages 11-15.
Sunday, August 6
Naperville was recently named one of the best beach towns in the nation by WalletHub and you can see some of the reasons why at this fun event. The Naperville Sprint Triathlon is celebrating its 10th year by including its first-ever kids’ triathlon. It consists of a 100-meter swim in the Centennial Beach pool, an 11K bike ride and a 5K run along the DuPage River. Chicago Parent readers receive 10 percent off registration with the code CHICAGOPARENT10 through July 31. Register here.
Sunday, August 13
Ages 12 and under
Young athletes will challenge themselves at Cypress Cove Family Aquatic Park. The kids event consists of a 100-yard swim in the pool, a 5K bike ride and a one mile run. It can also be completed as a relay. Teens can participate in the main event, which consists of a 250-yard pool swim, a 10K bike ride and two-mile run.
Saturday, August 26
Ages 7 – 14
More than 1,000 kids participate in this kick-off event of the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon weekend. Kids can participate as part of a relay team or as individuals. There are two divisions: Junior is for kids ages 7 to 10 and Senior is for kids between ages 11 and 14. The swim takes place in Lake Michigan, including a shallow water start, parallel to the beach. The bike and run take place on closed park roadways and running paths all along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront.