Will and Matthew Staniar bike to every Welch Sharks Swim Team practice during the summer.
The brothers, who attend Park Forest Middle School, said it was one of the reasons they were ready for the 11th annual Centre Region Parks and Recreation Splash, Pedal and Dash Youth Triathlon on Saturday.
“It’s kind of good practice for us,” Will, 12, said. “We heard about the triathlon from a friend a few years ago and wanted to get involved. It’s great and a lot of fun.”
The boys have participated in the event for four years but weren’t the only veterans.
Aquatics supervisor Todd Roth said that each year he sees a lot of the same faces, including Zach Cessna, 9, who finished first in his age group for three years.
Roth said the event was started to bring awareness to the sport for youth ages 6 to 13.
“A lot of these kids are on the swim team or participate in other CRPR activities, and we wanted to keep up the activities in the summer,” Roth said.
The race began with laps at the Welch Community Swimming Pool on Westerly Parkway, followed by a bike ride from the pool to Orchard Park and back, and a run around the pool and State College Area High School soccer fields.
Most participants said keeping active and spending time outdoors was their way to prepare.
“Running’s my least favorite because it’s hard, but it’s still a lot of fun,” Matthew, 11, said. “We just play outside a lot and swim and ride bikes, and I think all the hard work is worth it.”
Event distances varied by age with the swimming portion from 50 to 200 meters, biking from 1 to 4 miles and running from 1/4 to 1 mile.