GOSHEN — It wasn’t too hard for London Pfifferling-Irons to find her parents while racing through the Kerry’s Kids Goshen Kids and Teens Try-athlon course Saturday.
“I always know that they’re the people with the unicorn horns,” Pfifferling-Irons said.
“Team Unicorn,” as they liked to call themselves, stood out among the hundreds of people at Shanklin Park Saturday morning. A total of 300 children participated in the 15th edition of the event.
The event is designed for youth ages 5-18 to run in a miniature version of a triathlon. Kids ages 5-12 swim 25 meters — one length of the Shanklin Park pool — bike 1.2 miles and run 1/2 mile. Teenagers ages 13-18 swim 75 meters, bike 1.2 miles and run 3.1 miles — the equivalent of a 5K race.
This was the second year Pfifferling-Irons, 8, participated in the event.
“I like it because I can swim and ride my bike, and I can run super fast. I just do it to have fun,” she said.
Pfifferling-Irons said riding the bike is her favorite part because “I can go super fast.” While she said running is her least favorite part, she said that she still likes to run.
The 8-year-old from Goshen definitely had the most colorful of supporters as she raced around the course. Her mothers, Amy and Sunny Pfifferling-Irons, along with Sunny’s friend, Betz Haartz, wore rainbow-colored unicorn horns on their head. Both Amy and Sunny had London-inspired shirts on, with Amy sporting a shirt with the United Kingdom flag on it.
The unicorn gear was actually purchased by Haartz. She met Sunny while working in 1980 and quickly became friends. Haartz moved to Vermont, however, making Saturday the first two the women had seen each other in 22 years. They had remained friends throughout the time, but hadn't seen each other since 1997.
Before Haartz left to visit Sunny in Goshen, though, she visited a place close to her called “Unicorn.”
“Over the last couple of years or so, I’ve connected with London on unicorns,” Haartz said. “I have access to a lot of unicorn things.”
“It was great. We were glad she could be here for London’s race,” Sunny added.
London said she likes unicorns because “they’re magical and cool.” She rode with a unicorn in a basket on her bike during the riding portion of the triathlon.
Amy and Sunny adopted London two days after she was born. The couple had been together for a decade when they decided they wanted to expand their family.
“Sunny has another child that is now an adult … we both wanted another child and I definitely wanted a child,” Amy said.
Sunny admitted the two were a little nervous when London began going to school. Fortunately, London was not a unique case.
“When she started kindergarten, we were like, ‘Oh my gosh, is she going to be the only kid in school with two moms.’ And, she wasn’t even the only kid in her class with two moms,” Sunny said. “It’s a good thing. We’re not the oddballs in the community.”
“For me, we try to focus on the positives. We have positive people in our lives. We just don’t have the time for all that negativity,” Amy added. “We want London to be raised that way as well.”
Being able to go out and exercise makes both of London’s moms happy.
“We’re just so proud of her for being physical and having a good time. We stress that we want her to be healthy, but we want her to have fun with it, too,” Amy said. “It’s great to see her just do that.”
“These are all the things she loves to do. She loves bike riding,” Sunny added. “This has been great for her. It’s great to see her focused on something and wanting to do something like this.”
Austin Hough can be reached at email@example.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 325. Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinHoughTGN
2019 KERRY'S KIDS GOSHEN KIDS AND TEENS TRY-ATHLON — TOP THREE IN EACH CATEGORY
Females age 5-6: 1. Remi Stichter 15:53; 2. Stella McCormick 15:55; 3. McKenna Resseguie 16:18
Males age 5-6: 1. Hudson Syslo 14:56; 2. Judah Grubert 16:02; 3. Zane Trovatore 16:06
Females age 5-6 (non-swimmer): 1. Finley Bollhorst 15:10; 2. Eloise Wentford-Lantz 15:24; 3. Arianna Keiser 16:42
Males age 5-6 (non-swimmer): 1. Eivan Bell 14:27; 2. Trayce Stewart 15:15; 3. Camden Moon 17:10
Females age 7-8: 1. Esther Howard 12:53; 2. Adalyn Trovatore 14:06; 3. Lydia Heuer 14:31
Males age 7-8: 1. Timothy Alvarez-O'Connell 12:49; 2. Aidan Cripe 12:50; 3. Oliver Eisenhour 13:04
Females age 7-8 (non-swimmer): 1. Alaina Crowder 19:25; 2. Calleigh Bollhorst 21:07
Males age 7-8 (non-swimmer): 1. Leo Mierau 14:49; 2. Caleb Gunawan 15:37
Females age 9-10: 1. Mya Ernsberger 11:00; 2. Shiloh Grubert 12:12; 3. Veronica Baldwin 12:57
Males age 9-10: 1. Levi Schlegel 11:03; 2. Jack Shoemaker 11:27; 3. Ian Krempec 11:42
Females age 11-12: 1. Haylee Heflin 12:09; 2. Mahra Chris 12:19; 3. Caitlin Yoder-Rupp 12:36
Males age 11-12: 1. Colin Krempec 11:09; 2. Luke Keim 11:11; 3. Evan Howard 11:34
Males age 13-14: 1. Colyn Chris 28:19; 2. Mason Shoemaker 31:51; Ethan Stanley 38:59
Males age 15-16: 1. Alexander Lefever 28:42.1; 2. Luke Dibley 29:43.7
Males age 17-18: 1. Nicholas Dibley 29:43.2
Note: For the complete list of results, visit michianatiming.com/results