Goleta’s Elings Aquatic Center with World Class weather conditions is today’s launching pad for this next generation of triathlete…
It’s the 6th Annual Santa Barbara Kids Triathlon!!
These lean, super-buffed triathletes come not in a huge assortment of sizes …
Not so much.
All personally chauffeured here by their uber-passionate fans from mostly near … and a few far-flung places a la Ojai … Thousand Oaks … El Segundo.
Nearly 80 altogether registered for this 8:30 a.m. swim, bike, run competition.
They’re carefully choreographed by gender within tight age-specific junior (overall ages 7 through 10) and senior (ages 11-15) categories.
Some seasoned pros.
Others untested rookies.
Samantha Hanrahan, age 7, is the latter — it’s her inaugural competition.
“She made the cut-off by two days,” beams Jaime, proud ‘momma bear’ and triathlete herself, of her daughter’s very late December birthday.
The younger Hanrahan, off to 2nd Grade next month, is definitely ready …
She exudes cool confidence sitting with her family fan base on the western pool deck on this bustling Dos Pueblos HS campus — deftly answering a barrage of thoughtful, deep probing questions from this investigative Presidio Sports reporter.
Later, she is all smiles with a bronzed medal (psst: all finishers get one) proudly draped around her neck.
And for already decorated triathletes and life-long friends, Lily Bienstock and Andrea Bish … both age 9 and starting the 4th Grade … they’ve both have been here before.
Last year, in fact!!
“It’s just fun to compete,” says Bish, who successfully completed the SB Triathlon Camp held earlier this week at this same venue.
Santa Barbara Kids Triathlon is all a labor of love — compliments of community star Marcella Young.
“It’s an incredible day!” she shares while tossing sponsor Santa Barbara Bank & Trust sport towels to all crossing The Finish Line.
Like every year, all net proceeds boost a different non-profit organization – collectively adding up to thousands of dollars that directly benefit youth programs.
Yes, an athletic version of ‘kids helping kids’ …
Incredible Children’s Arts Network (iCAN), a community–based arts group working their magic in specific public elementary schools, is this year’s recipient.
Also here on-hand, like always, are title sponsors, Dr. Ruby & Dr. Rochon – local rock stars who specialize in pediatric dentistry.
“We are happy to support these great kids! We wouldn’t miss this for the world!” Dr. Ruby cheers.
“We appreciate all of our generous sponsors … our many volunteers … and everyone who contributes,” adds Founder Young …
“And special thanks to Jay Ritterbeck, race director from Elite Racing Team, for helping us run such a quality event.”
After the impromptu awards ceremony on the Charger running track — these young triathletes are whisked away for some well-deserved post race ‘chill’ & relaxation.
By 10:15 a.m. — it’s already been a day of Olympic proportions here in The Good Land …