A pack of kids have been bicycling and running at sites around town as they train for the Terrace kids duathlon coming up May 28.
With running shoes and bikes, they’ve hit sites including Ferry Island, Howe Creek trails, Spring Creek, the Skeena Middle School track, and the Northwest Community College field as they gear up for the event.
Though the team of ten has been training since April, the upcoming duathlon is open to anyone ages 8-17 who wants to take part.
Crystal Thomas, coach and event organizer, says this year’s event is switched to a duathlon rather than triathlon because of the closure of the Terrace Aquatic Centre.
“So because the pool is closed… we’re having a duathlon this year, so it will be a run-bike-run,” she said.
She adds that the event is totally geared towards fun.
“It’s a fun race. At the end we always have cookie medals and everybody gets a box of Smarties,” said Thomas. “It’s about just getting out and using your body.”
Race distances differ slightly based on age, but can be accomplished by anyone, she added.
Yet, along with the fun, some youth are still there to compete and 12 youth have been in a training program twice a week since April.
Training rolls out with unique twists on different days based on the location.
“We kind of go with the lay of the land,” explained Thomas, noting that a place like Spring Creek is perfect because of the one kilometre loop known as Lala Valley.
“We rode our bikes up to Lala Valley turn off, and then… we [run] a little 1K loop, and we get back on our bikes, we ride down,” she explained.
“So we ride our bikes up, we do a 1K loop, and we ride our bikes down.”
Thomas says it’s also great because the hills add to the training, helping the youth learn to change gears as they climb a hill and then descend.
It has been a lot of fun, she said, and she looks forward to the culmination of the duathlon race, which she expects will draw about 20 Terrace youth to compete.
“That’s always quite joyous for me, to see that hard work,” she said. See sports scope on Page 19 for event details.