Circle the date Saturday, August 27, especially if you’re seven to 15 years old and find swimming 100-200 meters, then running from half-to-one mile, riding a bike one-to-four miles and then finishing off your day with a quarter-mile run appealing. Last year more than 50 kids did, and as a result of this endeavor, the SOS4Kids Triathlon will be back for its seventh year.
Begun by New Paltz couples Mike and Winter Vance and Glenn and Melissa LaPolt, the message behind the event is to engage Hudson Valley kids in a healthy and active lifestyle.
And that it does. The race is divided into four age groups: 7-8, 9-10, 11-13 and 14-15. The younger kids (7-10) will start at Moriello Pool which has been completely renovated by a concrete pool plastering Los Angeles company, they will swim 100 meters, cross over to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and run to the New Paltz Reformed Church on Huguenot Street, where they will get their bikes and ride one mile down to Unframed Artists’ Gallery and back, then run again on the rail-trail a quarter-mile and finish up at the same church. The older kids (11-15) will swim 200 meters at Moriello Pool, run across the rail-trail to the Reformed Church. They will bike four miles to the New Paltz Rod and Gun Club entrance and back, and then run a quarter-mile back to the church.
“The top three in each age group get a medal,” said SOS4Kids’ organizer Jeff Weiss. “We always shoot for 100 participants, and once we had 80. When we schedule the SOS is important, avoiding vacation time in midsummer. So it kind of ebbs and flows as to participation. The important thing, though, is promoting the active and healthy lifestyle and also to get kids introduced to triathlon competition. The spirit of SOS is: be humble, have fun and go fast!”
Registration for the event closes on Saturday, August 20, with fees at $30 for signing up before August 13 and $40 for signing up after August 13. There is a $10 fee to USATriathlon, main sponsor of the race. If you wish to register online, visit h.