06/25/17 — Youth triathlon held at Y

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Youth triathlon held at Y

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on June 25, 2017 1:45 AM

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Jayson Lewis, 6, puts on his helmet as he and his family get ready to pack up their car Saturday after completing the youth triathlon at the Goldsboro Family Y. Jayson, his twin brother Brayden and their sister Lainey, 8, all competed.

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Brayden Lewis, 6, hangs his medal around his neck Saturday after he completed the triathlon.

Orange cones and yellow caution tape were strung all over the Goldsboro Family YMCA parking lot Saturday.

But it wasn't a crime scene.

It was a youth triathlon.

Approximately 80 children from ages 6 to 17 competed in the event, organized by the Trifectas -- a locally-based adult triathlon team.

Scott Johnson, a member of the Trifectas, said the event began last year as a way to promote healthy living to children.

Johnson said too many children are sitting around, playing video games and consuming a poor diet, while too few children are outside being active.

The event was divvied up into three age groups -- 9 and under, 10 to 12 and 13 to 17 years old.

Those in the 9 years old and younger group completed a 25-yard swim, one-mile bike ride and a half-mile run.

Competitors in the 10-to-12 year-old age group doubled those numbers, completing a 50-yard swim, two-mile bike ride and one-mile run.

The oldest age group, 13 to 17, pushed those numbers even higher, doing a 75-yard swim, 5-kilometer bike ride and two-mile run.

The swimming portion of the competition happened in the YMCA pool, while running and biking took place in supervised areas on roadways immediately near the YMCA.

Andrew Gambella, 9, said the event wasn't hard for him, and he actually had a fun doing it. He said his favorite part was the bicycling.

Paige Court, 13, of Pikeville, said this was her second year competing in the triathlon, as this marked the event's second year in existence.

She swept first place in her age group last year, even though she doesn't specifically train for triathlons. She said she usually just runs and swims for exercise, so a triathlon was a natural progression.

Court said the event was fun, but the bicycling portion was the hardest for her, as she doesn't usually ride bicycles.

Johnson said his four children, ages 9, 12 and 13, all competed in the triathlon Saturday.

He said the event was a chance for all children to get out, exercise, socialize with other kids and participate in a competition.

Johnson added the Goldsboro Youth Triathlon was based on a similar event in Greenville, and the distances were scaled back so children can complete them, as opposed to a full-scale race.

He said it was good to see children competing in an exercise-based competition, with their parents cheering them on.

"It's all about being healthy," Johnson said.

Johnson said the triathlon will return next year.