May 3, 2013

Vanderbilt Partners with Nashville Kids Triathlon

The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt Athletics are partnering with the Nashville Kids Triathlon, to be held May 18-19, to help motivate area children to be healthy and active.

All who officially register to join Team Vanderbilt’s triathlon team before May 10 will be entered into a drawing. Three winners will be selected, and each will be met by a Vanderbilt student-athlete and/or coach for fun and learning with friends and teachers.

“As leaders in caring for children across Middle Tennessee, we are always searching for ways to motivate kids to be healthy and active. This commitment must start here at home,” said Meg Rush, M.D., chief of staff and executive medical director of Children’s Hospital.

“Vanderbilt Athletics has built a program focused on family,” said David Williams, vice chancellor and director of Athletics. “The entire Vanderbilt Community is part of our family, and we want everyone to realize how important it is to exercise every day and to eat right. We are all honored to be part of this effort.”

In its third consecutive year, the two-day Nashville Kids Triathlon, held at Nashville’s Centennial Park, is the largest children’s triathlon in Tennessee. Debuting in 2011 with 400 participants, there are now more than 800 children (ages 6 to 15) and 3,000 spectators. A significant percentage of these children are members of the Vanderbilt Community, thanks to the combined efforts of the Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt Athletics.

This type of partnership is what enables lasting change to occur, said Tom Gildersleeve, the event director who organizes the largest children’s triathlon series in the world, including the Nashville Kids Triathlon.

In addition to the drawing, some of the highlights of the Vanderbilt partnership include:

• An exclusive Introduction to Triathlon Clinic will be held in Centennial Park on Sunday, May 12, at 2 p.m. This program will help get every member of Team Vanderbilt get ready for the big event. It will feature some of the top triathletes in Middle Tennessee. Children and parents can ask questions, gain valuable race tips from pro triathletes, and tour parts of the actual race course.

• Free T-shirts will be awarded to all who join Team Vanderbilt.

For information on how register to join Team Vanderbilt go to

About the Nashville Kids Triathlon: Organized through Kids Triathlon, Inc. (a 501c(3) organization based in Jacksonville, FL), the Nashville Kids Triathlon is the primary fundraising event for a year-around outreach program to introduce kids to the benefits of a healthy, active and responsible lifestyle. All activities are coordinated by a local Organizing Committee with 100% of the proceeds staying in the local community. During 2014, more than $16,000 and 600 hours of help will be donated to “healthy kid” initiatives across Middle Tennessee.

Schedule of Events for May 18 & 19, 2013: Race weekend is spread over two days. The festivities kick-off Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. with Packet Pick-Up and the Event Expo. Saturday at 5:30 p.m. there will be a Pep Rally featuring welcomes from local officials, introductions of the 2013 Celebrity Big Kids, and a motivational speech by Almon Gunter. Sunday morning is race day with transition opening at 6:15 a.m. and the races starting at 8 a.m. The Celebrity Big Kids will race with the kids throughout the morning.

What is a Kids Triathlon? Triathlon is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, and kids triathlons are a vital part of this trend. Race distances are set by the USATriathlon (the governing body of the sport under the United States Olympic Committee) to be challenging, yet achievable and every race consists of four components – swimming, biking, running and transitions. There are two divisions in kids races with the Juniors (10 years old & under) completing a 100-yard swim; 3-mile bike and 0.5-mile run. The Seniors (ages 11 – 15) complete double the distances (200-yard swim; 6-mile bike; and 1-mile run).