Little racers in the Youth 6 category make their way out of the pool and into the transition area to prep for the bike portion of the Kids’ Triathlon on Sept. 20.

Little racers in the Youth 6 category make their way out of the pool and into the transition area to prep for the bike portion of the Kids’ Triathlon on Sept. 20.

Fifth annual Kids’ Triathlon in Fernie

Kids' Triathlon challenged 150 youth racers on Sunday morning.

On Sept. 20, 150 children spanning ages four to 16 participated in the fifth annual Fernie Kids’ Triathlon. The triathlon featured three distinct legs to the race – a swim portion, followed by a bike and finishing off with a run.

The distances varied depending on the age group. The race is designed to be a fun event that teaches children about all three activities.

“One of our goals is to help them be proud of themselves and to have that independence,” said Pepper Couelle-Sterling, a co-race director of

the event.

“And so they’re lots and lots of volunteers, which is great to follow them through but in the transition area they have to do it themselves. And then they get some accomplishment from it.”

The race has been a staple in the community since 2010, and is starting to attract participants who are not local to the area. Because the event is intended to introduce kids to the sport, it requires many volunteers to ensure that it runs smoothly.

“It takes a lot of volunteers to run a triathlon for those ages – a lot of corralling and encouraging,” said Couelle-Sterling, who added that roughly 80 volunteers helped in coordinating the race. “Without the volunteers, we couldn’t do it. The volunteers were awesome.”

Another aim of the event is to be welcoming and accessible to all children, regardless of skill level or capability. “Having fun is our priority – having fun and having a sense of accomplishment and trying out all of the three sports,” she said.

Couelle-Sterling started the triathlon alongside Scott Dressler. Next year, both organizers will be stepping down and handing the event over to new organizers, who will continue the legacy.

For information on the triathlon and for complete results, visit www.ferniekidstri.com.