Congratulations on your involvement in what will be the largest kids' triathlon ever held in Texas and the 2nd largest ever held in the United States. That's right. In just our second year, 1,704 kids have registered to swim, bike & run. This is an amazing accomplishment for the Houston area, and our Founding Partners at the Houston Texans and the YMCA of Greater Houston deserve much of the credit. We hope you are looking forward to April 13 & 14 as much as we are. It should be a lot of fun!
With this in mind, we are working hard to make sure everyone is well-informed and prepared for the festivities. Part of this effort will be a series of 3 emails (starting with this one) that you will receive between now and race day. Please take the time to read all of the details below and feel free to get back to us with any additional questions, suggestions or concerns. If we do not answer your questions in this email, it is likely we will cover them in 1 of the next 2.
It is a Sellout!
Our original capacity for 2013 was 1,400 kids. While safety remains our top priority, we have been able to expand capacity to 1,700. Unfortunately, this means that more than 100 kids are currently on a waiting list to compete. While we have made numerous improvements (please see below) to handle the increased participation, there is a limit.
We could not be more pleased with the response, and it will create an incredible atmosphere for the more than 900 kids who will be completing their first triathlon.
Without a doubt, the most common questions we receive are about the proper equipment for a triathlon and the rules governing what type of bikes you can ride. For safety and insurance purposes, our event is sanctioned by USATriathlon. As a result, we follow their rules. While we will talk much more about what to bring with you on race day in subsequent emails, here are some of the most important equipment guidelines:
Huge Team Response
As many of you know, one of the hallmarks of our event is our outreach effort to teams, schools and other organizations across Houston. This year, we have 34 registered teams who will bring more than 750 kids to our event. Leading the way are teams from Colony Meadows Elementary (60 kids), Commonwealth Elementary (52 kids); SelecTRI Youth Triathlon Team (50 kids); and Scanlan Oaks Elementary (50 kids). Congratulations and thank you to every team leader. We look forward to donating almost $8,000 back to your teams and organizations.
The beautiful University of Houston campus will once again play host to our event, and we believe the course will be ideal for a large number of participants and an even larger number of spectators. All elements of the course are designed to promote safety and some improvements have been made to enhance the spectator experience. For example, we have repositioned the finish line so that it is much closer to the start. Most importantly, we will have more than 110 volunteers placed throughout the course on Sunday to help guide and encourage the kids. Please take a few minutes to learn about the course and click here to see all of the 2013 course maps.
New & Improved for 2013
Speaking of changes, we want to make sure everyone knows the course is not all that has changed for 2013. In an effort to ease race morning congestion and to make race day more enjoyable for all participants, we have made a number of significant improvements to our schedule of events. Here are some of the highlights:
Thank You Sponsors
Everything we do (including this email) is possible because of the incredible support of our sponsors. Headlining the 2013 Sponsor Team are our 3 Presenting Sponsors: the Houston Texans, Firehouse Subs and Academy Sports+Outdoors, and we would like to thank our other returning sponsors at HEB, Bicycle World and Bike Barn. In addition, it is our pleasure to welcome our new partners at Raising Cane's, Papa John's and Amerigroup. Please take a minute to visit the Sponsor Page on our website and to reach out to say thank you to each and every one of them. Of course, if you (or your company) would like to join our winning team as a sponsor, please visit our website or give Tom a call at 904.448.2707.
Race day is on Sunday for many reasons. At the same time, we realize Sunday is a very important day to many people. For this reason, we are proud to offer a non-denominational, sunrise service on Sunday morning at 6:15am. It will be held under the Big Tent in the field adjacent to the Campus Recreation Center. Everyone is invited to participate.
Almon Gunter will be in the House
The weekend events will officially kick-off with a high-energy Pep Rally on Saturday, April 13, at 5:30pm. It is not mandatory, but you will not want to miss it. In addition to the introduction of all the Celebrity Big Kids and some very cool entertainment, Mr. Almon Gunter (former track star and current athletic trainer) will deliver a motivational message for all ages. Without a doubt, his enthusiasm will get you ready for Race Day. He will also be autographing copies of his new book, The Super Freak Way.
Last but not least, we need your help. Obviously, a huge team of volunteers is required to keep everything running according to plan. If you have any friends or neighbors who might be interested, please direct them to the Volunteer Section of our website. Every volunteer receives a great t-shirt and cool gift. Also, Community Service Hours are available. Click here to learn more about how to become a Houston Kids Triathlon volunteer.
Once again, congratulations on your decision to be a part of the 2013 Houston Kids Triathlon. We are proud to have you as a member of our family, and we sincerely appreciate your support. If you have any additional questions, click here to visit our website. If the questions are not answered there, follow the instructions to contact us directly.
Watch your email for our next update and get ready! Race Day is only 9 days away!
The 2013 Organizing Committee