Hood River’s annual Gorge Kids Triathlon on Sept. 15, an act of organized chaos, drew 294 youngsters who started the course with hula-hoops and then “swam” through a hose, just some of the clever twists to the annual event. That’s Jace Castello on the megaphone and Tia Wells handling the hose.

Columbia River water was just too low to safely do an actual swim so kids dropped the hula hoops and then RAN across Waterfront Park beach -- some even taking Castello up on his suggestion they imitate swimming motions as they ran.

Then it was through a gauntlet of foam noodles, up a hill to the park lawn, and through the sprinklers.

Kids hopped on their bikes and then finished with a short run, accompanied by cheers and applause, as wind and rain set in. Volunteers in reflective vests guided them through the course and helped at transition points.

The fundraiser for school activities and wellness programs yielded $3,000 for each of the five elementary schools in the Hood River County School District: Cascade Locks, May Street, Mid-Valley, Parkdale, and  Westside.

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