Saplingathlon kids' duathlon info

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The Saplingathlon is a FUN race for kids who like to ride their bikes and run around (i.e., ALL kids). It's also a great way to introduce your little ones to the sport of triathlon.

Packet Pickup

Packet pickup will be held at the race site, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday, March 8th, and from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM on Sunday, March 9th.

Race Start

The Saplingathlon will start after the Treeathlon at 12:00 PM. The format of the race is a "fun activity" (see below) followed by the biking leg, followed by a run. There is no swim in the Saplingathlon.

Children will be divided into the following age groups, with the following approximate distances:

Age 10-12 (Firewood): 3.6 mile bike, 1.2 mile run (course map)
Age 8-9 (Twigs): 2.4 mile bike, 0.6 mile run (course map)
Age 6-7 (Pinecones): 1.2 mile bike, 0.25 mile run (course map)
Age 5 and under (Acorns): 0.5 mile bike, 0.1 mile run (course map)

Children will go in waves, starting with the older children first. The race will have the same finish location as the Treeathlon.


The Saplingathlon costs:
Firewood (Age 10-12): $30
Twigs (Age 8-9): $25
Pinecones (Ages 6-7): $25
Acorns (Age 5 and under): $20
Note: prices increase by $10 after February 23rd at 11:59PM.

Race-day details

Race-day packet pickup will begin at 10:30 and will close at 11:30.

The Saplingathlon will begin at 12:00 PM according to the following waves (subject to change):
12:00: Firewood (10-12 years)
1:00: Twigs (8-9 years)
1:30: Pinecones (6-7 years)
2:00: Acorns (ages 5 and under)

These are approximate times - we will try to begin according to this schedule, keeping the athletes' safety in mind.

All Saplingathlon racers are required to have a bike and a helmet. They will not be allowed to race without a helmet.

Awards for each wave will be delivered following the end of each age group race in order to prevent unnecessary delays for the children.

There will be drinks and fruit provided at the finish line. However, because the race is held over lunchtime, please plan accordingly and bring snacks if you feel it is necessary for your child. We chose to move the starting time later this year, to allow for better coordination with the adults' Treeathlon race and to prevent children from racing in the cold of the morning.


With the exception of parents of Acorns, no parents are allowed on the course during the Saplingathlon. For the Acorns, one parent may be on the course to provide encouragement, wipe away tears, or carry sippy cups and snacks. Volunteers will monitor and assist kids of all age groups on the course.

Required Equipment

Each child needs sneakers, a bike or trike, and a properly fitting ANSI-approved bike helmet. (You must have each of these items to participate.) Triathlon-specific bicycles and shoes may be used if a child has them, but regular bikes with banana seats, baskets, streamers, and Barbie stickers, or mountain/BMX bikes are welcome and encouraged for the Saplingathlon.


In order to avoid a mass bike start, there will be a fun, short and somewhat challenging activity for all kids to perform before they get on their bikes. (This makes the race less like a duathlon and more like a triathlon of fun-bike-run.) The "fun" activity will be announced on race day - examples of possible fun activities include: making a paper airplane, running a small obstacle course, hula hooping, jumping rope, hopscotch, or (for the Acorns) just throwing a ball in the right direction.


To keep your children occupied while they are not biking and running, there will be a jump house (aka moon bounce) for them to play in.


All Saplingathlon participants will receive a t-shirt and a finisher's medal.