PRESQUE ISLE — The organizations that have partnered in the past to offer the Aroostook Youth Triathlon in Presque Isle are changing things up a bit. New this year is a “Splash & Dash” that involves swimming and running, but no biking. The Star City Splash & Dash takes place on Saturday, June 16, on the campus of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, with additional events also planned in Mapleton and Fort Fairfield during festivals in those communities.
“A Splash and Dash is a fun and fast-growing sport that combines running and swimming, with the focus on participation rather than competition,” explained Jamie Guerrette, TAMC’s community health specialist. “This seemed like a better fit to us. The biking component of the triathlon brought particular challenges. It was hard for some to transport their bikes to campus, bikes might not pass the required safety check, and it wasn’t ideal to having less experienced riders on wet pavement when it was rainy. With swimming and running, we avoid those complications and make the event more accessible to all who want to take part.”
TAMC and UMPI are offering the Star City Splash & Dash in partnership with SAD 1 Adult & Community Education and University Credit Union. All children who will be between the ages of 8-12 by Dec. 31 of this year are invited to take part. Athletes will swim 50 yards and run one mile.
In addition to the Presque Isle event, TAMC will offer a Splash & Dash in Mapleton on Saturday, June 30 and in Fort Fairfield on Friday, July 20. Participants at each of the three Splash & Dash activities will earn an event t-shirt and a medal; and those who opt to take part in all three events will earn the “Triple Crown” title, earning a special trophy for their commitment.
To help children train for any or all of these events, a Star City Splash & Dash Club gets underway on Friday, April 27, at UMPI. Participants will train for six weeks with coaches both in the pool and running on the track and on the course. There will also be fun conditioning activities in the gym led by staffers from the Northern Lighthouse.
The course runs 3-5 p.m. on Fridays through June 8. The cost of the club, which is being offered through SAD #1 Adult & Community Education, is $30 and includes registration for the Star City Splash & Dash, a club t-shirt and an event t-shirt. Participants from SAD #1 will be bussed to the campus after school; children from other communities are welcome but must arrange their own transportation. There are limited spots still available in the club, but space is filling fast.
“We are always looking for fun, educational, and healthy programs for SAD 1 students to participate in after school. Partnering with both TAMC and UMPI to offer the Star City Splash & Dash Club does just that,” said LeRae Kinney, Director of SAD #1 Adult & Community Education. “We provide the registration and bussing after school to the club on Fridays and will help run the main event on June 16. The Tri-Club was a huge success last year and we are excited to be working with the same partners again this year on a similar event.”
University officials are looking forward to hosting the first event of the series along with the Splash & Dash Club, according to UMPI President Ray Rice.
“We are so pleased to have partnered with TAMC since 2012 to co-present the Youth Triathlon and now the Star City Splash & Dash as special events for our local youth,” said President Rice. “We are happy to be the host of events like this that showcase so well the work our organizations do to get kids excited about physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Hosting the club is particularly exciting as we get to see these young faces more frequently and watch their hard work coming to fruition, and we look forward to seeing that hard work put into action during the Splash & Dash on June 16.”
Registration is now open for the Star City Splash & Dash by going online to msad1.coursestorm.com. Look for more details on registration for the events in Mapleton and Fort Fairfield soon. The cost to register for each Splash & Dash is only $15. Reduced rates for participating in multiple events will be offered. For the Star City event, there will be a final preparation day on Friday, June 15, that will include a question and answer session, race packet pick-up, and a chance for kids to run through the course.
“TAMC is committed to keeping this event affordable for families,” said Guerrette. “We are covering many of the associated costs to keep that registration fee as low as possible. Because we want every child who wants to take part to be able to do so, we are also offering scholarships for those who need it.”
For more information about any of these three Splash & Dash events or to inquire about a scholarship, please contact Jamie Guerrette at 768-4008 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more or sign up for the Star City Splash & Dash Club, please contact SAD #1 Adult & Community Education at 764-4776 or email@example.com.