Iron Hills Triathlon a test for young athletes

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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The El Dorado Hills Community Service District was packed early Saturday morning as nearly 100 kids successfully completed the 10th-annual Iron Hills Youth Triathlon. Kids 15-years-old and younger crossed the finish line on the CSD baseball field grass after swimming in the CSD pool, a bicycle ride around the park and a run around the field. Streams of young athletes poured in and all were awarded a blue ribbon upon crossing the finish line to a sea of families and supporters. Five heats separated the kids into their respective age groups and each complete one of three races based on its distance. Six years old and younger, the Peewee group, swam 25 yards, biked .6 miles and ran .2 miles. Ages 7 to 10 swam 100 yards, biked 3.3 miles and ran .8 miles, while ages 11 to 15 swam 200 yards, biked 5.9 miles and ran 1.4 miles. Race directors Dr. Todd Drybread and Felix Poggemann, president and vice president of Capital Adventure Racing, respectively, put on the event. Drybread, whose organization hosts five races each year, said the Iron Hills is his favorite. “You’ll see the kids coming across the finish with huge smiles and they’re so proud of themselves,” said Drybread. “It’s something most kids don’t do. That’s what it’s all about, building self confidence.” One family with plenty of confidence was the Dolley family from El Dorado Hills. All three kids won their age group this and in each year they’ve participated in the past, which they said was many. Matthew, 9, was the first to finish the 100-yard swim, 3.3-mile bike and .8-mile run with a time of 24:45. He won the 9-10 age group. “I felt excited at first and then it just got a little tiring at the end, “said Matthew. “I was thinking, ‘I’m almost done.’” Cassidy Jones (10), won the girls 9-10 division with a time of 27:31 and did so with confidence. “I was pretty sure and determined to win this before it started,” said Cassidy. “I passed some of my friends and some passed me too, but I ended up winning in the end.” Matthew’s older brother and sister, Nicholas “Nikko,” 11, and Sarah, 12, each won their 11-12 age group. Nicholas finished at 40:44 and Sarah at 41:01. Nicholas fell when transferring from the bicycle to run portion of the triathlon, but said he powered through it. “I feel pretty good now. I worked really hard and was hurting a lot. I just got up and didn’t think about the pain and got through it,” said Nicholas. “I didn’t really think I was going to come out here and do as well as I did,” said Sarah. “It’s always a competition and it’s always hard.” Kate, 6, and Samuel, 8, Glidewell of El Dorado Hills were the other family of winners. Kate took the 7-8 girls with a time of 35.24 and was one of two top-three finishers who were 6 years old in the group. Samuel won the boys group at 26:28. Samuel was a little surprised when he heard his name called as the winner, but accepted it gladly. “When they announced my sister they said she was following in her brother’s footsteps, so I thought, ‘Hey, that might be me,’ and it was me,” said Nicholas. Kate said her favorite part was probably when she finished. Drybread was encouraging runners over a loudspeaker at the finish line. One thing he told the runners was how not every kid or even adult could complete what the kids just had. Alison Kolander, 14, was the only girl in the 13-and-older age group and finished the triathlon in 55:16. The boys-and-older division had 11 competitors, two of which were 14 and 15. Austin Streetman, 13, beat out the older athletes and won the group with a time of 39:34. Streetman had a soccer tournament on Saturday as well, but said he stayed to see how he had placed. He beat the second-place finisher by 1:50. “It was tough, but I’m glad I finished and feel pretty good about winning it,” said Streetman. “I’ll probably go home and go back to sleep now.” The peewee winners were Emily Kroettinger, 6, in the girls group at 6:28 and CJ Wilson, 6, in the boys group at 6:32.