Kids triathlon for a good cause - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Kids triathlon for a good cause

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CHILLICOTHE, ILL. (WEEK) -- -

Don't let your kids grow into couch potatoes this summer.

Saturday over a hundred kids didn't just get out and go - they ran, biked and swam in a full triathlon.

Drew Glatz, from Dunlap, participated in the triathlon. His favorite part was biking. 

"I passed a lot of people in that," said Glatz. 

"I feel like the biking was really really easy because there were so many spaces for you to just go around them. I passed like eight people," said another racer, Lindsey Washburn.  

Her fellow racers shared her enthusiasm. 

"I love that triathlons are kind of for any one. There is swim, bike and run, and people have different likes," said racer Annabelle Kirkpatrick. 

Even if it's designed for kids, the race was a full triathlon with real results: every racer was timed and given their final total, pushing kids to give their best.

"I say to myself, 'I'm going to finish. Keep staying strong," added Kirkpatrick. 

The goal of the triathlon was to raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis research. The leading organizer of this race, Leann Stickel, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009 and said fitness helped her a lot. Now she wants to inspire kids to be fit and well.

"I really want to inspire kids to embrace fitness and there is nothing like a great race, to have great energy and to be excited about it," said Stickel. 

They do this event once a year and have been doing it for four years. Stickel said they've raised almost $50,000 in those four years. 

Sickel has had success because kids from all over have been coming back. 

"It's fun and you might do something the first time you haven't done yet," said Glatz. 

The biggest takeaway from an experience like this? 

"They keep those memories. They think about it and do better and do more and it's helped me," Stickel. 

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