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Vicariously Relish In Your Child’s Glory

There’s no reason to leave the kids behind when you come for Coeur d’Alene’s Scenic Challenge. Some parents now come just to watch their kids in the Coeur d’Alene Youth Triathlon the day before the adult race.

Small fries rule the roost in the youth triathlon, but some exhibit as much grit and muscle as the top pros. The race starts at 8 a.m. at the Sta-Fit Health Club, 208 Coeur d’Alene Ave. Kids ages 7-14 line up outside, where they’re marked with their race numbers. Ten at a time, starting with the youngest, they swim in Sta-Fit’s pool. The little guys swim 100 yards; the older children swim 200 yards.

The London-style double decker bus scoots the children to the transition zone at the start of Lake Coeur d’Alene Drive. In age-group waves, the kids bike a challenging four to six miles on the Centennial Trail along sparkling Lake Coeur d’Alene.

They return to the transition zone for a half-mile run for the young racers and a 1.5-mile run for older competitors. At the finish, food, medals and music await.

If you haven’t watched, you should. It’s a hoot. Last year, two girls competed as one. They swam holding hands, cycled on a tandem bike and ran with their elbows linked and their shoelaces tied together - and never missed a beat.

Pro triathlete Scott Tinley tied their medals together at the awards ceremony and the girls vowed to go even faster this year.

The bike and run courses are new and improved this year. As in previous years, every finisher will receive a shiny medal. But this year the race won’t be timed so there will be no recognition of winners. Everyone who finishes, especially with a smile, is a winner.

For a $5 entry fee, each child receives a stunning T-shirt, a water bottle, medal, fruit and cookies and other goodies.