A record-setting number of young athletes participated in the annual Bass Lake MY-Tri Triathlon last Saturday, as 114 kids ages 5 - 17 splashed, biked, and ran through the course to the cheers of hundreds.
“This is seriously my favorite day of the entire year,” Race Director Carrie Waltner said. “We have 114 little athletes, 100 volunteers, 15 directors and hundreds of spectators ... it’s a wonderful community event that excites everyone.”
Waltner said the 114 youngsters were the most in the event’s four-year history.
Staged at Miller’s Landing Resort, the triathlon featured four age groups split into three divisions: Dash (50-yard swim, 2-mile bike, half-mile run), Sprint (100-yard swim, 4-mile bike, 1-mile run), and Ace (200-yard swim, 8-mile bike, 2-mile run).
Competitors began around four at a time in the water, with a bullhorn sounding the beginning of their race to the cheers of kids lined up along the docks at Miller’s. From there, they jogged a short distance to get their bike, then returned to run and cross the finish line to the applause of volunteers surrounding the course.
Other than a few scrapes and bruises, organizers and athletes said they had an “absolute blast.”
“I was just having a great time out there,” said Zander Nichols, 12 of Clovis, the first boy across the finish line. “The whole thing was really nice and it’s just a ton of fun.”
The Zelazo family of Mariposa, including brothers Caleb and Russell, ages 10 and 16, as well as their 14-year-old sister Trinity, swept their age brackets with wins in the Ace division.
Afterwards, the three laughed with each other about being called a family of triathletes.
“That’s awesome,” chuckled Russell, a cross country runner at Yosemite High School who competed in the MY-Tri for his first time. “But this was a super fun course. I look forward to coming back.”
“It probably wasn’t a good idea for me to do this one,” Trinity said about finishing the race with a previously-injured knee. “But hey, you gotta stay strong.”
Michelle Miller, owner of Miller’s Landing Resort and swim director, said her family was honored to host the family-friendly event.
“We think it’s a great event for the community and for the kids,” Miller said. “And we love seeing everybody come together. We’re happy that it’s here.”
The event was sponsored by dozens of businesses, including Sierra Asset Management, K&B Auto Parts/Carquest, Sierra Automotive in Oakhurst, Cornerstone Custom Construction, the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, California Jam Co., Redwoods in Yosemite, Airborne Aviation, Cook’s Communications, and DMO Construction.
A complete list of sponsors, race information, and results are available at www.mytribasslake.com.