The McGaw YMCA will hold a youth triathlon next month at Northwestern University.

The McGaw YMCA will hold a youth triathlon next month at Northwestern University.

Kids from 7 to 14 will be able to participate individually in the swim, bike, run; or in three-person relay teams on Sunday, July 26.

“Our hope is to inspire a diverse group of youth and their families by giving them the thrill of an official race experience in the friendly setting of our own community,” said Craig Strong, the Y’s competitive aquatics manager.

Strong says events like these build self-confidence in kids as they work on their personal best.

“We had an eight-year-old complete a swim-run event here at the Y a few weeks ago, and watching his face as he finished you could see how proud he was. We get kids who might not feel good about putting on a swimsuit, or trying to run; then they accomplish something like this and are inspired to do even more next time.”

Strong plans to talk to youngsters in several District 65 schools, at the Foster Reading Center and through church groups to recruit kids who are not already involved in sports.

Youngsters age 7-10 will swim 100 meters, bike 4 kilometers, and run 1 kilometer.

Ages 11-14 will cover double the distance in each event.

The registration cost is $35 for an individual and $75 for a relay team, prior to July 13. There’s a $5 discount for additional family members.

Each participant receives an event t-shirt, swim cap, race number, goodie bag, and finisher medal.

Top finishers in each age group receive awards.

Community members are invited to help kids who cannot afford the entry fee by contributing from $5 to $35.

Northwestern University is the principal partner, sponsor and host for the event., ExperienceTriathlon, Turin Bicycle Evanston Ltd., All American Aquatics and The Wellness Revolution are other sponsors.

Online registration is available on the Y’s website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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