Law enforcement officers invite kids to have fun, compete

The eighth annual Rockford Kids Triathlon featuring officers from local law enforcement, swimming, running, biking and food will take place Saturday, July 14 starting at Rockford High School. According to organizer Lt. Kevin Sweeney of the Michigan State Police, the event is geared for youngsters up to age 17 with varying lengths of race in which to compete. The cost is $20 to participate and checks should be made out to Rockford Area Kids Triathlon and mailed to or dropped off at 345 Northland Drive, Rockford MI 49341.

The idea behind the Triathlon is to both promote health and give officers and children a positive, fun-filled opportunity to interact. The event has been held in Rockford for the last seven years and is always a popular summer event. Officers from the Michigan State Police, Rockford Public Safety Department and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department participate in the running, swimming and biking and hang out with kids during the day-long event. The Corner Bar is donating hot dogs and there will be other refreshments available.

Race A is for ages 16-17 and 14-15 and starts with a 9 a.m. swim of 200 yards in the school pool, a six-mile bike ride and a three-mile run. Race B for kids 12-13 begins at 10 a.m. with a 100-yard swim, four-mile bike ride and two-mile run. Race C is for kids 10-11 and begins at 10:30 a.m. with a 100-yard swim, four-mile bike race and two-mile run. At 11 a.m., kids ages 8-9 swim 50 yards, bike two miles and run one mile. At 11:30, kids ages 6-7 swim 50 yards, bike two miles and run one mile. Kids up to age 5 begin at noon with a pool-length swim, a 100-yard bike ride and 100-yard run. The top three finishers in each age group receive awards.

Organizers remind participants to check to be sure bikes are in good working order and do require helmets to be worn during the biking portion of the event.

“This event is for all children,” said Sweeney. “With good sportsmanship, everyone wins.”

Proceeds benefit D.A.R.E. and the Michigan State Police Explorers program.

Parents and guardians are invited to view the swim event or greet the child after and orient them to the bike race and, most importantly, cheer on all the children. Volunteers are also needed. For more information, visit www.rocktri.com.

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