Are you and your burgeoning young triathlete prepared for the summer’s fun? IronKids events are in full swing so now is the time to make sure you have clear, new Oakley sunglasses jacket lenses and those quarter lenses for your little participants. It’s easy and inexpensive to replace your lenses or keep a backup pair ready to pop into your lucky frames. Unlike other replacement lens companies, we sell only genuine polycarbonate lenses. When you replace your lenses with us, you are getting the same high quality as when you first bought your sunglasses. With LenzFlip, scratched or broken lenses won’t get in the way of your IronKid fun!
For adults, not only are triathlons one of the most physically demanding competitions, they are also one of the most fun races to participate in. Athletes from all over the world come together to run, bike, and swim in some of the most breathtaking and beautiful outdoor environments across the globe. While most triathlons cater to adults and are far too physically demanding for younger athletes, the IronKids Triathlon Series was created to provide an opportunity for these younger racers to experience the joys of participation as well.
The IronKids Triathlon Series began in 1985 and was originally owned by the Sara Lee Corporation. It was promoted as a way to encourage physical activity among youth. The original event lasted all day and focused on activities that the whole family could enjoy. The triathlon attracted hundreds of families from all over the world, and helped encourage healthy living, camaraderie, friendship, and a sense of accomplishment among all its participants.
In 2009 the IronKids Triathlon Series was purchased by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), and incorporated into the official Ironman itinerary. Since then the event has continued to grow in size and increase in popularity across the globe. It is now a full weekend event aimed at promoting healthy living through sports participation. WTC’s goal for the event is to leave a footprint throughout the country by creating a program that focuses on educating youth on the importance of nutrition and physical activity, and promoting the “IronKids Lifestyle.”
Not surprisingly, the IronKids races have featured quite a few notable alumni over the years. Hunter Kemper, a 2016 Olympic hopeful, is one of these. Kemper began swimming competitively at the age of six, and entered his first IronKids Triathlon at age 10, where he placed first in his age division. Following his initial success, he went on to win five consecutive IronKids national championships. While attending Wake Forest University, Kempur was a four-year letter winner in both cross country and track. He also won the USA Triathlon Amateur National Championship in 1997 before going pro the next year. After going pro, Kemper competed in and won seven USA Triathlon Elite National Championships. In 2000, he joined the USA Olympic Triathlon Team and is currently one of the only men to qualify for every Olympic triathlon (2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012). In 2005 he was ranked No. 1 in the world and was selected as the U.S Olympic Committee Sportsman of the Year. He is currently the most decorated U.S. Triathlete in history, and hopes to make a fifth Olympic appearance in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio.
Other notable athletes who have participated in the IronKids Triathlon Series include Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France Champion; Laura Reback, 2003 ITU Triathlon World Championship silver medalist; and Laura Bennett, two-time Olympic Triathlete.
The IronKids Triathlon Series is specially designed to cater to children and youth ages three to 15 years old, and features a variety of events. In addition to the actual triathlon, there is also a aquathlon, a duathlon, relay competitions, and running races. Children of all ages are able to participate in the events within their specific age groups, where they are given the opportunity to learn about the importance of fitness and healthy living, and about safety in athletic events.
Notably, one important safety item includes choosing and using the right equipment. For children, this has less to do with performance factors and everything to do with safety. Eye protection is paramount in any sport, not to mention that clear vision makes everything more enjoyable. Sunglasses get dropped and stepped on all the time. But with our Oakley sunglasses jacket lenses and quarter lenses replacements, the action doesn’t have to stop. It takes less than a minute to flip out your damaged lenses and flip in our Oakley OEM-quality, polycarbonate replacement lenses. Your back in the race in 60 seconds or less!
The triathlon itself is broken down into single year age groups and divided by gender. Racers age six to eight are classified as Juniors, nine to 11-year-olds are placed in the Intermediate group, and participants age 12 to 15 make up the Senior group. While the race consists of a swim, bike ride, and a run, the distances vary based on each specific age group. The Junior group competes in a 50-yard swim, 2-mile bike ride, and 500-yard run; the Intermediate group race consists of a 150-yard swim, 4-mile bike ride, and 1-mile run; and senior group members compete in a 300-yard swim, 8-mile bike ride, and 2-mile run.
In addition to the standard events, IronKids also includes activities for disabled children, and all activities are designed to allow every participant to experience the thrill of victory.
IronKids events are usually held in the days leading up to the full Ironman race in multiple cities across the U.S. and internationally. One of the upcoming events includes the IronKids Raleigh Fun Run on June 4th, in Raleigh, NC. If you are in the area, grab your running shoes, your bike and your Oakleys (and a backup pair of polycarbonate lenses) and join the fun!
Raleigh is one of the Southeast’s most popular destinations, featuring beautiful countryside and great entertainment for the whole family. The city is full of delicious food, a variety of live music, museums, art venues, shopping, and more. Whether you’re in the area for the race, or just passing through, it is a city worth checking out.
The IronKids Raleigh Fun Run is part of the events leading up to the Ironman 70.3 that same weekend. The event starts at 10 a.m. on June 4th at the City Plaza Marriot, and includes a 1/2 mile and 1 mile run, in addition to other family oriented activities designed to promote friendly competition, healthy living, and outdoor activity. Because the IronKids motto is “Every Finisher is a Winner” each participating athlete will receive a race bib, finisher shirt, medal, goodie bag, and the pride of calling him or herself an IronKid.
In North Carolina, registration is also available at the Raleigh Convention Center on June 3rd from 12:00 to 7:00 p.m., or on site on at the Marriot on Fayetteville Street on June 4th from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. before the festivities begin. If want to find and participate in some of the Ironman related events in your area, you can check online at www.ironkids.com.
Other upcoming IronKids events include the IronKids Syracuse Fun Run on June 18th, the IronKids Idaho Fun Run on June 25th, the IronKids Lake Placid Fun Run on July 22nd, and the IronKids Vineman Fun Run on July 29th.
There are some International events coming up as well, including the Subaru IronKids Shawnigan Lake Fun Run in British Columbia on May 28th, IronKids Rapperswil-Jona in Switzerland on June 4th, IronKids Cairns in Australia on June 11th, and IronKids Victoria Fun Run in Victoria, British Columbia on June 12th.
Whether you plan on participating yourself, or just want to go watch your young athletes compete, the IronKids events are a great place to get out and enjoy some friendly competition. And before you head out, don’t forget an extra pair of Oakley sunglasses jacket lenses for you, or an extra pair of quarter lenses for your star participant. As you know, having the right gear is paramount for safety and enjoyment.