Photography: Kids and Sports

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Summertime invites outdoor activities. In our home, it beckons the triathlon.

This year, my husband organized a kids triathlon to kick off the summer the day after school ended. The kids had a blast! We also plan to hold it again at the end of the summer to compare the times.

My husband is a triathlete. Just before we got married, he participated in a half IRONMAN and has dreams of a full IRONMAN, but he sets that dream aside because the time commitment is not conducive for families (and a full-time job). Throughout our marriage, we have cheered him on in many, many races on a smaller scale, "GO, Daddy, GO!" is a favorite mantra we chant as he whizzes past us on a course. When we moved into our neighborhood two years ago, my husband met a few other friends that also love the triathlon, and I snapped this picture of the three of them last year at a race:

The three dads are pumped to involve their kids in something they love. We've done a kids triathlon for the past few summers with just our kids, but this year, we went a little bigger. We invited a handful of our friends and their kids to participate alongside our kids. You can even host an event like this in your own neighborhood. We just made sure our swim, bike, run was close enough to each other without crossing any roads. We are lucky to have a bike/run trail right by our neighborhood pool to accommodate those safety measures. We had 12 kids participate. We broke it into two categories for the swim -- 7 lengths of the pool for the older and 5 lengths for the younger. The bike was 2 miles (2 loops on the course). The run was 1 mile (one loop). We stationed adults along the path, and even a water station part way through. The transition station was all set up, and we helped the kids prep the station with a towel on the ground to sit on, another towel to wipe off the feet, socks and shoes all laid out with helmet nearby.

When photographing events, I always try to remember the details. {I have listed some of my image stats under the images. I used my 70-200mm zoom lens for all of these, and the lowest aperture on that lens is a 4.0 f stop, so that was the setting I kept it on for most of these.}

ISO 125 f4.0 ss1/320 (in shade)

In triathlons, they write the race number on your arm, and your age on your calf. The kids thought this was fun.

ISO 250 f4.0 ss 1/160 in shade

We conducted a pre-race meeting to go over all the rules and regulations, and there was some excellent attentiveness!

I think the dads were the most excited for the race to begin.

And they're off! The older group went first, while the younger kids watched. It was in this segment that I realized swimming for survival for my boys wasn't enough. Yes, they know how to swim, but they had never had much formal training. The girls -- who had swim training -- literally blew them out of the water!

 

ISO 160 f4.0 ss 1/100

I love the shot below of my friends' husband helping his daughter in transition.

There were 2 girls and 5 boys in the older group. The girls finished first and had a head start. Below, my boys fumbling to dress themselves. Having done a few triathlons myself, I know this part is tough.

 

ISO 160 f4.0 ss 1/500

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