On a rainy and stormy morning…almost 600 kids couldn’t be stopped.

If I were writing headlines for an article about the Waunakee Kids Triathlon, that’s what I would open with.  In what was likely the worst weather we’ve ever had (windy, chilly, and rain for our middle and short course athletes), I saw so many examples of people braving adversity and challenges to reach their goals.  These are such inspiring lessons for our next generation to learn, and I’m grateful for every one you who rose to the challenge and stuck with us on May 20th.

Just a few examples:

  • Of the 130 volunteers signed up, nearly 50 signed up within one week of the race.  They clearly knew the weather was going to be less than ideal, and came out anyway.  You helped us create a safe and encouraging race for our kids when they needed it most!
  • We had a few slips and falls on the bike course when the weather got wet.  In two scenarios, another athlete stopped their race to wait with the fallen child, even after volunteers or medical arrived to treat them.   We’re still looking for these two good Samaritans, so let us know if this was your child!
  • On Monday, the Waunakee Village Center and Public Works arranged a special ATV and two volunteers to help us pick up the heavy, water-logged mats we used for the run course.  Check out our muddy fun!

waunakee 2017 volunteers

Each race, we tally up the number of athletes from each participating school to help us divide out our race entry fees. Here’s how it shook out this year for our top five schools:

  1. Arboretum Elementary, Waunakee – 65 athletes!  They’ll earn our Fittest School trophy to add to their collection.

  2. Prairie Elementary, Waunakee – 47 athletes
  3. Mendota Elementary, Madison – 43 athletes
  4. Northside Elementary, Middleton – 41 athletes
  5. Elm Lawn Elementary, Middleton – 39 athletes

We’d like to give a shout-out to our presenting sponsor, Waunakee Community Bank, who not only gave all our athletes swag bags and water bottles, but hosted our goody bag stuffing (complete with volunteers and storage!).  They welcomed over 200 athletes and their families on Friday night (going through a ton of popcorn and cookies in the process), and then brought 12 volunteers to the race on Saturday!  They went above and beyond for us, and we’re so grateful for their involvement.  We’re also thankful for our amazing counterparts at the Waunakee Village Center and Waunakee School District, who so generously donate their time and resources to support this event.  They open doors for us around the village that would be impossible otherwise, and do it with a smile on their faces every step of the way.

A few more thank-yous to our police and EMS staff, and the public works team for sweeping our course and transition area on Saturday morning!  With slippery road conditions, we were grateful to have such amazing first responders out there for our kids.

We know that there are always opportunities to improve, so we hope you’ll consider taking our event survey. Please share any fun stories or pictures with us via email (katie@tri4schools.org) or on our Facebook page.

Finally, we hope you’ll consider joining us on June 24th in Sun Prairie and August 19th in Middleton for our other youth triathlons this summer!  Registration is open via our website, and volunteers are always needed, too!

From our staff, board, and race day leadership, we are honored that you choose to support us.  Thanks for allowing us to share in an important moment in your child’s life – like this one.

riley waunakee tri 2017

With gratitude,
Katie Hensel

Founder and Executive Director