OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Triathletes are known for being tough. And in this case, really cute! Hundreds of kids biked, ran and swam in a youth triathlon Sunday morning at the Jewish Community Center in Overland park.
"It’s pretty adorable when you see all these little teeny tiny bikes. The kids don’t know where they’re supposed to go. The parents are there cheering on and these kids they just come with their whole heart and just out here to have fun,” said a mom of one of the athletes, Debbie Niemann.
More than 200 four to 17 year olds competed in the 11th annual Youth Triathlon at the JCC. Ironman Triathlete Barry Odgen said he’s hoping his daughter who competed Sunday follows in his footsteps.
"I think it’s a lifestyle. I mean it’s a choice, it kind of forces them to as they get older to choose doing something like this versus other things that might lead to a bad path,” he said.
Thanks to a specially adapted bike from Variety, The Children’s Charity, 12-year-old Jackson Kozisek got to participate in his first triathlon.
"I did the triathlon with my brother here,” said Jackson.
"Jackson has tubular sclerosis, so he has benign tumors on most of his major organs, he’s epileptic and autistic, but he’s up for the challenge,” said his mom Laura.
With a crowd cheering him on, Jackson, just like his little brother, finished the race.
"Makes me feel awesome,” said his brother, Grant.
"We as adults sometimes get caught up in the competitive part of it but our kids remind us that we’re here to have fun and enjoy ourselves and these little guys you just can’t help to see those beaming smiles as their names are announced as they cross the finish line,” said Niemann.
The oldest kids swam 300 meters, biked nine miles and ran three miles!