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Kids get their chance to tri

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The second annual triathlon clinic for youth is announced for June 14, 2014. In conjunction with the Ironman Boulder 70.3 race, this clinic is for youth from 6-18 who want to test out triathlon or gain more experience.

The course set up will use the Ironman Boulder 70.3 staging area at Boulder Reservoir the day before that race, so that youth can get a real feel for what a big race is like. Logistics, coaches and volunteers come along as a program of Kids That Tri www.kidsthattri.org , a non-profit organization that encourages youth to participate in triathlon.

Russell Herbert, who is also the mentor program coordinator for the Boulder Triathlon Club http://www.bouldertriclub.com/ , spearheads the effort. Herbert came up through the junior triathlon development program in the United Kingdom and wants to start a similar effort here. “The junior development program was a big influence in my childhood. Boulder seems like a great place to start a program like that so that kids here can have the opportunity to see what their parents are always doing,” Herbert says. “The Boulder Triathlon Club’s mentor program is growing quickly, matching newer triathletes with seasoned ones to help them on their learning curve. Having a special program just for youth makes a lot of sense.”

Certified USA Triathlon coaches will work with younger kids on basic triathlon skills. They will help youth with open water swimming techniques, including swimming a straight line (surprisingly tricky when there are no lane lines or big black lines on the bottom as there are in pools), entering and exiting the water efficiently and swimming in a group. Coaches will help the athletes learn how to make smooth transitions from the water to the bike leg, and lead practice of essential bike handling skills. The coaches will also focus on smooth transitions to the run leg and practice run pacing technique. For older youth, the coaches will work on riding in a group, drafting and bike handling and advanced running techniques as well.

Bob Seebohar is founder and head coach of Kids that TRI. Bob says, “It is not often that children receive the opportunity to be taught by some of the best youth and junior triathlon coaches in the nation. This triathlon clinic will provide any child the basic and more advanced skills necessary to not only prepare for a triathlon but have fun doing so. Triathlon is a life-long sport and the Kids that TRI coaches will engage all participants in a fun and educational manner while teaching many great skills to enhance their safety and enjoyment of the sport.”

The clinic will also feature a meet-the-pros opportunity, as many of the elite athletes racing the following day have offered to visit with the youth to give tips and encouragement.

USA Triathlon board president Barry Siff, who for many years offered a free kids’ race the day before the 5430 Sports long-course race in August, says, “"One of USA Triathlon's core objectives within our Strategic Plan is to "Engage Youth." We have specifically set a goal of increasing youth participation in our sport by 50% from 2013 to 2016. Kids tri clinics, like the one in Boulder on June 14, will go a long way to not only growing youth participation; but, moreover, doing so in a safe, practical and fun way. This will certainly help maintain Boulder's status as a Mecca of endurance sports."

Entry price is $20. Sign up at Active.com or check out more information at the Boulder Triathlon Club web site. www.bouldertriclub.com.

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