Ironkids Alpharetta triathlon was held at Wills Park for the 5th consecutive year on Sunday, September 15. Young athletes ages 6 to 15 swam, biked and ran their way to the finish line. The IronKids event in Alpharetta has remained the largest youth triathlon in the country for the past five years with over 1,300 athletes competing. The race includes three divisions: Junior- ages 6 to 8, Intermediate– ages 9 to 11 and Senior-ages 12 to 15. Our kids participated for the first time and I was truly impressed by the energetic announcers, inspiring music and helpful volunteers that made our day a fun experience. I highly recommend your children trying the triathlon next year if they enjoy swimming, biking and/or running, competing against their peers and/or trying something different! It doesnt matter if your child is the fastest or slowest in the events but that they go through the experience and see what they main gain from it.
The Ironkids Alpharetta process starts in the summer where you can register your kids online and find details about the triathlon. Should your children train for the event? I think it definitely helps if your children swim year round or are on a neighborhood summer league swim team. Both my boys swam on our neighborhood swim team and my older son swam for Swim Atlanta last year. I recommend bicycling on the Greenway or other trails for practice before hand. My boys practiced in our neighborhood a couple times but could have trained more for sure and on trails. As for running, my boys get exercise through their sports but didnt necessarily run on their own. My oldest, James, started at Webb Bridge Middle School and for PE runs 2 miles, twice per week. I think that helps!
Ironkids Alpharetta holds an Expo at Wills Park the day before the event where you can check in and pick up your Ironkids t-shirt, bib with clothespins, timing chip, swim cap and other instructions. You may also check-in your bicycyle/helmet/towel, shirt with bib to the transition area so it is ready the day before. I highly recommend this as we were not prepared with our bikes and other items for the Expo. There was only a short window until 6:45 a.m. the day of the race to place your items in the transition area. My husband was kind enough to do that while I got the kids ready! The expo was very informative and I think essential especially if it was your first time. They were allowing registrations at the Expo as well (they were a little higher than online. There is a sibling discount though!). No walkup registrations were allowed the day of the race.
At the Expo, the director of the event spoke for half an hour with helpful hints to ensure your child had a safe, fun experience. Athletes must wear a shirt in the biking and running portion, their chip in an ankle strap the entire race, mount/dismount bikes at the designated mounting/dismounting stations and have a POSITIVE attitude. Roswell bicycles were on hand selling waist bands that your bib clips onto if didnt want to pin the bib to a shirt.
The day of the race there were many more volunteers and helpers than at the Expo. Luckily, our kids bicycles were in an easy to find spot in the transition area and we could throw items over the fence to be near their bikes. When my husband dropped the bikes off earlier that a.m. he wasnt sure of all the items that needed to be with their bikes. That was where our main confusion was regarding the race and I think the trickiest part. How the kids enter and exit the transition area and what they need to do while they are transitioning sports.
The looks on my kids faces throughout the race were definitive. I saw fear, excitement, determination and exhaustion. Once they crossed the finish line, received their medal and got some water there was relief that it was over and they accomplished a goal. I am so proud of my kids for the shear fact that they tried something different and did their best. I hope they do it again next year!
All participants received a commemorative medal upon crossing the finish line and the top three athletes within each age category were awarded a placement trophy.
Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau serves as the official destination marketing organization for the city of Alpharetta, promoting tourism and attracting visitors to all 23 of Alpharetta’s upscale and modern hotels. Visit awesomealpharetta.com for more information.
AlpharettaMoms.Org would like to thank The Alpharetta CVB for providing my children the opportunity to participate in this wonderful event. We are so fortunate to have an event of this scale and quality in our backyard.