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Youth triathlon Sept. 14
Sept. 2, 2013
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Delano Girl Scout adds course for people with disabilities

By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

DELANO, MN – Saturday, Sept. 14 will be the third annual Vision Quest Youth Triathlon in Delano – but for the first time, children of all abilities will be able to participate.

“I want to show people with disabilities that they can be part of something,” said Delano High School junior Marissa Bartels, who is organizing an adapted course for youth with physical or cognitive disabilities.

Grades 2-12 (from any school) are welcome to sign up. To register, follow the link at www.delanoheraldjournal.com to the Delano Community Education website, or call (763) 972-3365 ext. 2110.

The first Vision Quest Youth Triathlon was organized by Girl Scout Alyssa Prior in 2011, as her Girl Scout Gold Award project.

When Marissa’s troop volunteered at the event, Marissa knew what she wanted to do for her own Girl Scout Gold Award project: make the triathlon accessible for all youth.

“I thought about the people in wheelchairs who might feel left out,” she said. “I also want to bring awareness to the community.”

Marissa, who has spina bifida, knows firsthand the challenges involved with having a disability. Although she doesn’t use a wheelchair on a daily basis, her condition makes running difficult.

Through the Courage Center, Marissa is able to compete in wheelchair basketball, wheelchair softball, and adapted track.

This year, she earned a national record in her classification for discus, javelin, and shot put.

Marissa also throws shot put and discus (and does the 100-yard dash in a wheelchair) on the Delano High School track and field team.

“I’m asking the people on my sports teams, and the younger teams, if they’d be interested in participating in the triathlon,” Marissa said. “Hopefully we’ll have people from all over.”

Marissa’s goal is to have 20 participants on the adaptive course.

Participants will receive prizes, and anyone interested in donating a prize can contact Marissa’s mother, Lynn, at lynnbartels@playlsi.com or (763) 972-5208. 

“We are also in need of volunteers,” Lynn noted. “It’s a great way for students to get their volunteer hours in.”

Corporate/company sponsors are being sought for this year’s triathlon. To learn more, contact Julie Strobl at jstrobl@delano.k12.mn.us.

Sign up for the tri
Ready to give the Vision Quest Youth Triathlon a try? Here’s what you’ll need to know:

Who: Grades 2-12 (from any school) are eligible to participate.

What: The race includes fun events for children of all abilities.

When: Registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14. A pre-race meeting will take place at 9 a.m., and the race will start at 9:30 a.m., rain or shine.

Where: Tiger Activity Center, Delano High School.

Cost: Early registration (before Tuesday, Sept. 3)  is $29, and includes a T-shirt. Registration after Sept. 3 until race day is $39, and a T-shirt will be provided if available.

Contact: To volunteer to help at the event, to register, or for more information, call Julie at (763) 972-3365 ext. 2110 or email Matt at mattstrobl@edinarealty.com. Registration forms are also available at www.delanocommunityed.com.

Race details
Awards will be given to both boys and girls in the following five categories:

• Grades 2-3 will swim 50 yards (two pool lengths), bike one mile, and run one-half mile.

• Grades 4-6 will swim 75 yards, bike two miles, and run one mile.

• Long course challenge (open to grades 4-12) will include a 200-yard swim, a four-mile bike ride, and a two-mile run.

• Adaptive grades 2-3 will swim 25 yards or complete an obstacle course/basketball shoot/jump rope, run/walk 400 meters, or race one-half mile using a trike/bike/wheelchair.

• Adaptive grades 4-12 will swim 50 yards or complete an obstacle course/basketball shoot/jump rope, run/walk one-half mile, or race one mile using a trike/bike/wheelchair.

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