Photo by Tom McKnight
Some of the athletes at this weekend's Gorge Kids Tri look at the Columbia with apparent apprehension.
As of Tuesday, September 20, 2016
The beach, roads and trails of Hood River Waterfront were the scene of the sixth annual Gorge Kids Triathlon Sunday, with 310 youngsters swimming, (or at least running, through the surf) bicycling, and running for fun on easy, moderate, and difficult courses.
The event has raised about $50,000 for schools in its first six years, including about $10,000 this year. Kids dashed into the water in heats of 10 (the event is participatory only) before hopping on bikes and then running the last portion, all with the help of about 60 volunteers (and hundreds of cheering parents).
Some of the athletes look at the river with apparent apprehension, but by the race start, everyone jumped in enthusiastically. Weather conditions were ideal, with moderate air temperatures and no wind or rain. Participation and proceeds have increased from 125 kids and about $900 in 2011.
Founder Chrissy Reitz said this is the first year that Cascade Locks has participated, meaning all county public elementary schools were represented. The course benefitted from the past year’s paving and other trail improvements on the Hook and at Nichols basin, noted Reitz.
Before the event Sunday, Mayor Paul Blackburn and board member Matt Rankin recognized the original board members including Reitz. Seven of eight board members will be transitioning off the board. They included Megan Spears, Nigel Heineman, Mike Schrankel, Suzanne Trickey, Sarah Wilson and Michele Beaman.