It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years since the first competitors in the Kids & Teens’ Try-athlon crossed the finish line. But it has been a decade.
This year’s event, now called Kerry’s Kids Kids’ & Teens’ Triathlon, is set for July 12 at Shanklin Park in Goshen. Participants will swim, bicycle and run distances based on their age group.
THIS IS A UNIQUE event for the Goshen area and one we encourage young people to participate in. Exercise has many positive benefits, including keeping brains sharp, building strong bodies, controlling weight, modifying behaviors into positive activities and giving opportunities to socialize with others.
Another good cause is also involved, the Kerry Finnegan Rupright Foundation. The foundation honors Kerry Rupright, who died in 2004 at the age of 28. She has two children. Rick and Marlene Finnegan, Kerry’s parents, operate the foundation. The foundation’s goal is to improved the health and quality of life for the children in the community. The foundation will benefit from the event.
Those who participate in training for the triathlon will also benefit. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 15.9 percent of Indiana adolescents were overweight in 2012. Another startling fact is that many children don’t participate in physical activities that build muscles and strengthen hearts. The CDC reported that just 23.4 percent of Hoosier adolescents surveyed in 2012 were physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.
THIS CHOICE OF SEDENTARY lifestyle most of our children are making will have life-long consequences unless they change their ways. Sitting all day is a proven risk factor for heart disease later in life. It takes regular physical activity to keep the human body running in good shape, and apparently most Hoosier children have not gotten that message.
There is still time to train for the July 12 Goshen triathlon and we urge parents to talk to their children about that possibility. Most youngsters will not break a record or finish with a medal, but the greatest reward will be given to each child who participates, and that reward is a better mind and body and an improved lifestyle in the coming years.
To register for the Kids' & Teens' Triathlon go online to www.goshenindiana.org and click on the departments link to the parks department.