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YOUNGTRI
A Community for Young Triathletes
By Caitlin Begg


As I dipped my body into the crystal clear water and peered through my goggles at tropical fish and clusters of triathletes around me, I knew that I wanted to become a permanent part of the triathlon world. Kona, Hawaii, is a magical place, especially around the time of Ironman. My dad won the Kona lottery in 2008, which earned him a spot in the Ironman World Championship. In Kona, I was surrounded by the best of the best. I was mesmerized by the electric atmosphere of the race and knew that I wanted to find a way to get more involved in the sport. This is where the seedling for YoungTri was born.


After leaving Kona, I spent a month convincing my dad that I wanted to do a half-iron distance race. As of today, I have completed three — and since Kona I have dedicated myself completely to triathlons.


After completing the Westchester Toughman Half in September 2010, I noticed a sprinkling of young athletes competing. I saw and interacted with a few young triathletes, but I knew that I wanted more. I wanted a way to unite the community of young triathletes. I wanted to find a way to bring athletes from different areas together — to make friendships, learn more about the sport and share their stories.


After much thought and brainstorming, YoungTri was launched in January 2011. YoungTri is an international community of young triathletes, informing, engaging and connecting athletes from 38 states and eight countries. YoungTri.com is a way for young triathletes of all levels and ages — from beginner to world-class athletes, elementary school to high school to college and beyond — to connect with others and learn more about triathlon. Members interact through a members-only Facebook group, participate in contests and contribute to our blog. We also have monthly training columns and what-to-buy articles from our contributors.


What I have learned from YoungTri is difficult to put into words. I love competing in races each summer with my cousins — we share a special bond and sense of friendly competitiveness that I love and cherish. Through YoungTri, I have been able to create bonds similar to that of with my cousins with other athletes from all over the world — from people near my hometown in New Jersey to North Carolina, Texas and California.


YoungTri contributor Waylon Christensen said, “I am so proud to be a part of the growing community of young triathletes. It is amazing that we now all have an organization to bring us together and increase young involvement in triathlon.”


YoungTri would not be where it is today without the help of so many sponsors, contributors and members. They add a whole new level to YoungTri membership; through discounts, special pages on the site, webinars, instructional videos and more.


What’s next for YoungTri? We hope to reach more athletes each week, increasing the sense of community amongst young triathletes. Over the next few years, the YoungTri contributors want to make YoungTri a household name in the triathlon community, solidify the organization as a way to connect with other young triathletes, share our passion and learn more about the sport.


“We are here to help guide and educate the community of young triathletes,” said Patrick Labrode, YoungTri’s race review specialist. “We enjoy what we do as contributors.”


If you are a young triathlete, you can find out more at youngtri.com/register.html, Facebook.com/youngtri or Twitter.com/theYoungTri.


Caitlin Begg is the president and founder of YoungTri.


 


Try a brick workout this summer! You can either swim and bike, or bike and run. These workouts help you practice transitions, too.


4 USA TRIATHLON SUMMER 2011 Youth

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