Norcal Triathlon On The Fast Track

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Norcal Triathlon On The Fast Track

By RICHARD SCHWAB
Staff Writer

Grab your sunscreen and bicycles and get ready for the fun athletic activities at Orinda pools, Del Rey Elementary and Miramonte High School as part of the Orinda Community Foundation’s 10th annual Norcal Kids Triathlon on Aug. 18.

Participants, ages 4 to 14, will participate in swimming, bike and running events, with distances varying according to age. Pre-registration is due by midnight on Aug. 15.  There will be a late fee charged for participants who sign up the day of the
event.
More than 300 kids from the Lamorinda community are expected to participate in the Triathlon. Each child receives a participation medal, and the top three performers in each division are awarded trophies. The Orinda Community Foundation (OCF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the life of all Orinda residents, hosts the event.
Sue Stevenson, current OCF president, started the event with Richard Westin in 2008 “to create a unique, healthy opportunity for kids to try something physically challenging that was a new experience.” They wanted to inspire young people to get out, get active, and learn to compete in a fun and safe environment that challenges them in running, swimming and
cycling. 
“This event is a superb opportunity for kids as young as four to experience competition in a safe and encouraging setting,” says Richard Stanaro who co-chairs the 2018 event with Carrie Korth. Stanaro adds that the young athletes “feel proud to be a part of it and proud of themselves for jumping in and trying. It will likely give them and all the kids a solid inspiration for competitive sports and staying healthy throughout their lives.  It teaches courage, perseverance, fortitude and good sportsmanship.”
Young swimmers may even use a kickboard, life vest or “floaty,” but swim fins and hand paddles are not permitted. Training wheels on bicycles are also allowed. The course map is on the Triathlon’s website, and participants should familiarize themselves prior to the event if possible and also be sure and stay hydrated during the activities.
Check in for the Aug. 18 event is at 8 a.m. The triathlon begins at 9 a.m. with high school students starting first, followed by middle school and then elementary students. An awards ceremony for each category begins near the Miramonte High School football stadium shortly after the last participant for that category crosses the finish line. All participants should be finished by 1 p.m.
Stanaro attributes the success of the event to volunteers and sponsors Kaiser Permanente, Morgan Stanley, The Kidder Ergen Group at Morgan Stanley, Land Home Financial Services, John Muir Land Trust, Orinda Parks and Recreation, Living Lean, Mechanics Bank, Oakwood Athletic Club, Diablo Foods, Cozy Earth, Orinda Fitness, Orinda Aquatics, Miramonte’s Track Team, Steve Harwood, Orinda Woman’s Club and Contra Costa Farmers’ Market.
Stanaro notes that in past events he has seen “courage, joy, excitement and satisfaction in the faces of the kids who compete. Even those that struggle ultimately find satisfaction in seeing it through and finishing. The kids gain a sense of real accomplishment and confidence in meeting a challenge and succeeding.”
 For more information or to register, go to www.orindafoundation.org.

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