Edinburgh#3 Triathlon gives kids and parents lift

Edinburgh#3 gather for a training session. Pic: Ian Georgeson

Edinburgh#3 gather for a training session. Pic: Ian Georgeson

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The essential but oft-maligned role played by parents of driving their children to training and back has proved the inspiration behind one of Edinburgh’s most successful new sports clubs.

Edinburgh#3 Triathlon Club was formed by parents with the idea of combining their own fitness ambitions with that of their kids.

The organisation, formed little more than two years ago and running sessions at Forrester High and The Mary Erskine School, has gone from strength to strength, having been named Scottish Triathlon Club of the Year for 2013.

“Having kids, you often end up as a taxi driver taking them here and everywhere to different sports clubs,” said club head coach Kevin MacArthur, “so we had the idea of creating the club so that adults and their children would be able to do their training at the same time and often together.

“It’s been really positive as the kids that we do have taking part actually want to be there.

“We were very organically grown initially through word of mouth via friends just to get things started, but, as people got more experience on the coaching side of things, we gradually opened up and we are now just at over 110 members so the growth rate has been huge.

“We never would have thought it would have all happened so quickly, but I guess we have provided something that wasn’t in Edinburgh before. It fits in with so many different lifestyles.”

The club is now preparing to host its debut youth aquathlon – a swim followed by a run over a set distance for eight to 16-year-olds – at the end of next month.

The event, which is open to 150 youngsters from across the country, is fast filling up with availability now limited for some age groups ahead of the competition on Sunday, April 27 at Forrester High School.

“The aquathlon is just a swim and a run this time which a lot of the kids’ events are,” said MacArthur. “We take the bike logistics of it out for the time being but we would like to add it in for a full triathlon in the future. It’s shaping up to be a really good day but places are filling up fast.”

The accolade of Club of the Year came as a shock to MacArthur, but a pleasant surprise all the same. He further believes there is a misconception when it comes to the logistics of the sport and is eager to outline club’s ethos.

He said: “We’re delighted to be recognised in such a short space of time that we have achieved so much. I think triathlon is the fastest growing sport in the UK at the moment.

“I think some people have in their heads this idea that anyone doing a triathlon must be some mega fit athlete to do a swim, cycle and run all at the same time but, if you turn up at any event, you will see a huge range of abilities and everyone there is very friendly and open to taking part.”

Anyone aged between eight and 16 interested in entering the Edinburgh#3 Youth Aquathlon on Sunday, April 27 at Forrester High School should visit www.edinburgh3.com for more details and a link to an entry form.

With only 16 places available for both the boys’ and girls’ events across the five age categories, there is a waiting list in operation for the following events: Boys and girls aged 9-10, boys and girls aged 11-12 and boys aged 13-14. However, there are places still available for the boys and girls’ races aged 8, girls aged 13-14 and boys and girls aged 15-16.

The closing date for registration is April 20.