Kids from all around Monmouth County showed true athleticism on Sunday as they swam, biked and ran to the finish line.
About 250 children came out to participate in the 2nd Annual Kids Triathlon for Bob Kelleher on Sunday. This triathlon was in honor of Bob Kelleher, a man who served the community of Rumson through his devoted volunteerism. Kelleher passed away in 2009 from an unexpected heart condition. His love for triathlons, fitness and children was the heart of Sunday's race.
There was a $35 early entry fee for the race and a $45 late entry fee. All the proceeds raised from the race will go to Rumson Recreation and the Rumson First Aid Squad. The money that goes to the first aid squad will help pay for their new ambulance, which was dedicated to Kelleher and some of the money will also go to a scholarship in his name.
Kelleher's wife Denise was at the race and said she was very pleased with the outcome. "All the kids are having a great time," Denise said. "I am so happy with the turn out today, I couldn't be more pleased."
An organization called Helmets 4 Life was at the race promoting their cause. Helmets 4 Life is a campaign to raise awareness regarding the importance of wearing a helmet for recreational sports. The organization was handing out bracelets to everyone at the race. "The point of these bracelets is to give it to someone you see wearing a helmet and hopefully the message can be spread," said Laura Howe, member of Helmets 4 Life.
The race started at Victory Park in Rumson. For kids ages 9-13, the race consisted of a 150 yard swim, a 4 mile bike and a 1 mile run. For younger kids 8 and under, the race consisted of a 75 yard swim, 2 1/4 mile bike ride and 1/2 mile run.
As the kids took off they were ready to give it their best. "The look of determination in all of their faces was unforgettable," said Marissa Howe, sister to one of the racers.
Streets in Rumson were closed off so that the kids could safely complete the bike and run portion of the race. At each corner, there were people cheering on the racers. Tyna Kilbourne was standing at a corner wearing a decorative hat and cheering on the racers. "I am here volunteering to cheer the kids on and to keep them safe while they are racing," Kilbourne said. "I'm glad to be here, this race is honoring a great guy."
The race was hosted by the Sandy Hookers Triathlon Club. Members from the organization volunteered to help with Sunday's race. The Sandy Hookers recorded the times for all the racers and announced their names as they sprinted into the finish line. "This is a fun thing for the kids," said Kelly Hogan from the Sandy Hookers. "Also, this is a great way to promote a fit lifestyle to kids." The next race the Sandy Hookers will be hosting is on June 25th at the Cheesequake State Park.
Though the kids looked tired after completing the race, they all were congratulated and received metals at the finish line. "I had a lot of fun doing this," said Connor Wright from Middletown. "I lost my shoe coming around the last corner and I still finished strong." Connor is also a member of the Red Bank swim team and said that the swimming portion of the race was his strongest.
For Margaret Condon of Rumson, this was her first triathlon and she is excited to compete in the future. "It was very tiring but a lot of fun," said Condon. "I think my strongest portion was running and my weakest was swimming. I definitely would compete in another triathlon."
All the children's race times can be found at raceforum.com. The best overall times are as follows: First place was Jeremy Hall from Holmdel with a time of 20:24. Second place was Jack Higgins from Rumson with a time of 21:24. Third place was Ezra Swell from Rumson with a time of 21:32.