EDGE! program holds first youth triathlon
September 19, 2012
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Twenty-nine athletes, ages 7-15, put their endurance to the test by participating in the inaugural EDGE! Youth Triathlon held on APG South (Edgewood) Sept. 8.
The event began at the Bayside Pool where participants were grouped into age brackets. The required distance the young athletes had to complete depended on their age bracket. For example the youngest age bracket, 7-8 years, were required to swim 50 yards, bike two miles and run one mile to complete the triathlon. The oldest age bracket, 15-18 years, were required to swim 250 yards, bike eight miles and run two and a half miles.
A team of 35 volunteers headed by DeeDee Burch, Cathy Towne, Terri Wallace and Julie Aarsen, ensured that the event ran smoothly and safely. Many volunteers served as course marshals at key intersections, providing directions to athletes, watching to make sure correct turns were made and streets were crossed safely and the athletes were wearing correct safety gear. Personnel from the Directorate of Emergency Services were also present in case of accidents or injuries. The Bike Shop of Bel Air, a major sponsor of the event, checked bike equipment before the race and handed out water bottles, coupons and other giveaways.
"This event was made possible with the support of volunteers," said EDGE Program Partnership Specialist Conor Joyce.
The event concluded with a closing ceremony at the APG South (Edgewood) youth center, where all athletes received medals and certificates.
Sonia Baker, an APG South resident, said that she was proud of all the athletes that competed.
"I think it's awesome," Baker said. "I told my children it doesn't matter what time they finish, just that they finish what they started."
Maj. Chad Foster, who volunteered during the event, said that he was happy to see children from the APG community have the experience of competing in a triathlon.
"Most races are for adults, this is the first time that most of these children have competed in a triathlon," Foster said. "And it was held in a great location, not much traffic here on Saturdays."
EDGE!, a Child, Youth and School Services program, stands for Experience, Develop, Grow, and Excel and is open to youth and teens of APG service members, civilians, and contractors. The EDGE! program is designed for youth and teens in grades 1 through 12 to learn new skills and discover new hobbies using Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and partner facilities.
For more information about the EDGE! program, contact Joyce, at 410-278-1399, or visit http://www.apgmwr.com/family/youth_edge.html.