Youth race faqs

Transition Area:

Q: What is the Transition Area?

A: The Transition Area is where your child will stage all their race gear and where they will switch from one event to the other.  The Transition Area will be surrounded by fence sections, you can’t miss it.

Q: Can I assist my child in the Transition Area?

A: Yes and No.  You will be able to help your child set everything up in the transition area prior to the race starting but will not be allowed into the transition area once the race has started.  There will be volunteers in the Transition Area to help racers navigate the Transition Area safely.  If your child requires special assistance, please contact the race director in advance of the event to coordinate those needs.

Q: What if my child doesn’t know how to tie their shoes prior to getting on the bike?

A: We have them covered, the volunteers know this is an issue with some of our younger racers and will help them get their shoes on prior to heading out onto the bike course.

Q: What should my child put in the transition area, other than their bike, helmet and running shoes?

A: We recommend that they have a towel that they can lay down next to their bike so they can wipe their feet off prior to putting on their shoes.  We also recommend having a water bottle if your child’s bike does not have the ability to carry a water bottle.  This will allow them to take a drink prior to the bike portion and again prior to the run portion.  The towel offers a good place to set their shoes, helmet, sunglasses and any other apparel they may want to wear during the race.

Q: Can I get my child’s gear out of the Transition Area as soon as they are done with the race?

A: No.  For the safety of the racers, the Transition Area officially opens for gear take-out when the last senior division racer leaves for the run portion of the race. 


Q: Can my child wear a flotation device (flotation vest, inflatable arm bands, etc.) during the swim portion of the race?

A: Yes.

Q: Can my child use swim fins (flippers) or hand paddles during the swim portion of the race?

A: No.

Q: Will there be lifeguards on duty during the swim portion of the race?

A: Yes, there will be lifeguards both on the pool deck and in the swim lanes to offer assistance if a child needs it.

Q: Can I assist my own child during the swim portion of the race?

A: No, there are lifeguards on duty and in the water to assist any child that may require assistance during the swim portion of the race.  If your child requires special assistance, please contact the race director in advance of the event to coordinate those needs.

Q: How far will my child have to swim?

A: Racers 10 and younger will swim 50 yards total, across the pool and back in the short direction. Racers 11 to 14 will swim 100 yards total, across the pool and back, twice, in the short direction.

Q: How will my child know where to line up or what order to start in?

A: The racers’ numbers, which will be marked on their arms, are based on their age group and not their swim time.  We will start racers of the same age group together in numerical order.  We will start the 9 to 10-year-old age group followed by the 5 to 6 and then the 7 to 8 age group.  This allows the youngest racers to see what the older racers are doing but also helps condense the overall time frame of the race. 


Q: Does my child need to bring their own bike to the race?

A: Yes.

Q: Is the bike course closed to traffic?

A: Yes. The four roads that surround City Park are closed to traffic during the Youth Race.  We have multiple volunteers on each road along with barricades at each intersection.  We also have the support of the Riley County Police Department who provide police officers at each of the four intersections. 

Q: Does my child need to wear a helmet during the bike portion of the race?

A: Yes, a bike helmet is mandatory for every racer.  Racers will need to wear their helmet and have their chin strap buckled prior to exiting the transition area. Helmets must remain on until they complete the bike course and are back in the transition area.

Q: How will I know where to have my child put their gear?

A: The Transition Area will be marked in numbered zones. Your child will place their bike and race gear in the zone that corresponds to their race number. If you have trouble just ask a Transition Area volunteer.

Q: How many laps around the park will my child need to ride their bike?

A: Racers that are 10 years and younger will complete 2 laps around City Park. Racers that are 11 to 14 years old will complete 4 laps around City Park.

Q: Can I ride a bike along side or behind my child during the bike portion of the race?

A: No.  There are multiple volunteers on every street of the bike course as well as bike patrol officers on the course during the bike portion of the race that can help your child if they should require assistance.  We do however encourage parents/spectators to go to the edges of the park and cheer the bikers on.

Q: Is there a water aid station on the bike course?

A: No, please be sure that your child has a water bottle they can take on their bike or a water bottle that they leave in the Transition Area so they can get a drink before and after they bike.

Q: Can my child use training wheels on their bike?

A: Yes.

Q: Should I have my child’s bike looked at/tuned up before the race?

A: Yes, Yes and Yes!  Nothing is worse than your racer having trouble with their bike during the race.  Bike trouble is something that can easily be prevented, so please make sure your racers  bike is in good working condition prior to the event.

Q: What happens if my child doesn’t do the correct number of laps around the park?

A: If your racer does more laps than required, they will not be disqualified but their time will reflect the extra time it took them to do the extra lap. Those racers who do not complete the required number of laps, will show as “incomplete” in the results and will not be eligible for an award. 

While we do everything possible to help the racers keep track of their laps by placing a tick mark on their arm as they go around for each lap, it is still their responsibility to make sure they do the correct number of laps.

We highly recommend that prior to race you either drive or bike with your child around City Park, so they understand how many laps they must do.  This is especially important for our youngest racers and first-time racers.


Q: Can I run with my child?

A: No. There are multiple volunteers on the run course providing direction as well as course markings to help them navigate the run course.  We do however encourage parents/spectators to stand on the edges of the roads and cheer the runners on.

Q: Is there a water aid station on the run course?

A: Yes.  There is a water aid station located where the runners will pass by it multiple times during the run.

Q: How far does my child have to run?

A: If they are 10 years or younger, they will be running ½ mile.  If they are 11 to 14 years old, they will be running 1 mile.

Q: Is the run course closed to traffic?

A: Yes.  The roads within City Park are closed to traffic the day of the race. 

results & Awards:

Q: Is the event timed?

A: Yes.  The event is timed using a chip timing system.  Each racer will receive a chip on a Velcro strap at packet pickup that will be worn around their ankle during the entire race. Their race number is entered into the timing system when they start the swim. Their finish time includes all three events and the time they spend in the Transition Area between the swim, bike and run. 

Q: How will I know how my child placed in the race?

A: Preliminary results are available on the computers set up near the finish line. Racers can enter their number into the computer to see their finish time and their preliminary age group placement immediately after they finish.  Caution: These preliminary age group placements are not final until all racers are finished, and all chip readings have been validated.

Q: Will my child get an award?

A: Yes. Every racer who starts and completes the race will receive a Finisher’s Medal after they cross the finish line.  We feel that every youth racer is deserving of recognition for their efforts.  Also, trophies are awarded to the top 5 places in each of the 2-year age groups.

Q: When and where is the awards ceremony?

A: As soon as possible after the race is over.  It is difficult for us to provide an exact time for the Awards Ceremony as it depends on the number of racers and how long it takes to get everyone through the event.  The awards ceremony will be held at the Picnic Shelter directly south of the swimming pool.


Q: What time should I get to the race?

A: The earlier the better. We recommend getting to the race at least one hour prior to the pre-race meeting (see Race Schedule).

Q: Where as a parent/spectator am I allowed to go to watch my child race?

A: During the swim you can be on the pool deck during the swim portion of the race but we ask that you stay behind the barricades that are in place to ensure that you don’t get in the way of another racer.  You will be able to exit the pool deck via the main entrance to the pool to get next to the transition are to watch your racer get ready for the bike.  After that you can go around the transition area to make your way to the edge of the park to watch them as they bike.  You can then make your way back to the edge of the sidewalk to watch them leave for the run and come back in for the finish.

The main thing that we ask of you as a parent/spectator is to realize that your racer is not the only one out there. Even though your racer may be done, there are others still racing and you should be aware to not get in the way of another racer. Please do not cut across barricades or flagged off areas as they are there to ensure the safety of the racers.

Q: What should my child wear for the race?

A: We recommend that they wear a swim suit that they feel comfortable wearing while they ride their bike and run.  This is the quickest way to do the race, but it is also perfectly acceptable to bring a shirt and shorts to pull over their swim suit.  We do suggest practicing pulling those items over a wet swimsuit as it can be difficult to do. 

If your child wants to change out of their swim suit and into other clothing, they can do so by leaving the transition area and going into the pool restrooms to change.  This will however add a significant amount of time to their race time.

Q: Can I do any of the race with my child?

A: No.  This is their race, not yours.  Please cheer them on and encourage them during the race but do not help or assist your child in any way.  Assistance by someone other than race staff  will be grounds for disqualification.

Q: Where can I park on race morning?

A: Please refer to the course map section for a parking location map.

Q: My child is 4 years old and really wants to do the race, can they?

A: Yes, if they want to do the race they are more than welcome. However, they will need to be able to do the race on their own. They will also be placed in the 5 to 6 year age group category.

Q: What happens if there is severe weather the morning of the race?

A: The race will be run rain or shine. If there is severe weather in the area we will delay the race in 15 minute increments for a maximum of 1 1/2 hours. If the race has to be delayed longer than that it will be cancelled.

Q: If the race is cancelled for any reason will I get a refund?

A: No. The reason for this is that by race morning the event will have incurred all of the cost it takes to put the event on, therefore we can not issue any refunds.

Q: If my child is already entered into the race but is not able to race, will I get a refund?

A: Yes and No. Yes, if you request the refund 30 days or more prior to the event. Request for a refund should be sent to: No, if the request for the refund is received within less than 30 days prior to the event. The reason for this is that by this time in the planing of the event most all of the cost it takes to put the event on have been incurred.