IronKids, which is owned and operated by World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), has announced the addition of a military division to its national triathlon series.
Now in its second season, IronKids is a global series with 12 triathlon races in the U.S. and more than 15 triathlon, running and aquathon events throughout Europe and Asia-Pacific. Participants ranging in age from 6 to 15 compete in age-appropriate distances with an emphasis on fun and healthy competition.
The IronKids Military Division will allow children of United States armed forces members to participate in a separate division at each of the 12 IronKids domestic events. To be eligible for the military division, the participant's parent or legal guardian must currently serve on active duty or be part of the National Guard and/or Reserves. Those in the military division will race according to the age group they fall under—Ages 6-8, Ages 9-11 or Ages 12-15—but will compete against each other for qualifying spots to the IronKids National Championship, taking place on October 3 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Military division coordinator, Navy Cmdr. David Haas, is no stranger to the sport of triathlon. Haas is a 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship finisher who trained for the race while deployed on the USS Thach, a warship assigned to provide security to oil terminals in the Middle East.
"When asked to help establish a military division for IronKids, I jumped at the opportunity," Haas said. "I have two wonderful children who have seen me deployed 10 times and have always encouraged me to accomplish my mission. IronKids recognizes my and other children's sacrifices, commitment to family and service to their country. It is a thrill and honor to help in any way."
Adding to the excitement of race weekend, each IronKids event will see an opening ceremony by the Color Guard and volunteer support from local military members. The long-term goal of the IronKids Military Division is to create triathlon camps, clinics and mini-triathlons on military bases around the world—starting in countries where there is both U.S. military and IronKids presence.
The 2010 series will kick off May 15 in Orlando, Fla., at Walt Disney World's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campgrounds. The complete race schedule is as follows:
2010 IronKids National Triathlon Series
- IronKids Orlando, Florida - May 15
- IronKids San Diego, California - May 23
- IronKids Round Rock, Texas - June 13
- IronKids Raleigh, North Carolina - June 27
- IronKids Avon, Colorado - July 11
- IronKids Carmel, Indiana - July 25
- IronKids Boulder, Colorado - Aug. 7
- IronKids Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Aug. 22
- IronKids Seattle, Washington - Aug. 29
- IronKids Alpharetta, Georgia - Sept. 12
- IronKids St. Petersburg, Florida - Oct. 2
- IronKids National Championship, St. Petersburg, Florida - Oct. 3
"Adding a military division to the IronKids National Triathlon Series is something we are very proud of," said Michelle Payette, director of IronKids. "Military families inspire us, and we look forward to their attendance and involvement at IronKids events."
Interactive on-site activities include IronKids Expo, featuring product sampling, retail booths and activities as well as youth triathlon and nutrition clinics. The triathlon clinics, lead by USAT-certified coaches and designed to teach the basics of triathlon, will take place approximately two weeks prior to each race, with a second clinic being held the day before each event.
To register for and learn more about the 2010 IronKids National Triathlon Series, visit www.IronKids.com.
IronKids Military Division questions should be directed to David Haas at Ironkids.Military@IronKids.com.
World Triathlon Corporation acquired IronKids in 2007 from the Sara Lee Corporation that owned the event series since 1985. IronKids events have seen more than 40,000 participants in its history. In its inaugural year, the IronKids National Triathlon Series hosted nine races, including a National Championship event in Tucson, Arizona, for youth ranging from 6 to 15 years of age. This year, the series will see growth domestically as well as globally, with international licensed events taking place throughout Europe and Asia-Pacific. National partners K-Swiss, Aqua Sphere and Timex support the IronKids brand, which includes triathlon events and licensed products.