Local youth runs in triathlon

Published 1:36 pm Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Caleb McDougal of Valley Grande became the first SAY Gators team member to participate in a triathlon.

The 11-year-old ran in the Baptist Health Kids Triathlon as a member of the Selma, Ala., YMCA (“SAY”) Gators swim team.

Caleb’s father, John McDougal, said the triathlon was well-represented.

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“I guessed there were about 300 people there,” he said. “They came from as far away as Atlanta, and Montgomery had a lot of people, of course.”

Athletes ranged from 5 to 18 years old, said Tara Essary, the swim and triathlon coach at the Selma YMCA.

“Caleb did a 150-yard swim, a 4-mile bike race and a 1-mile run,” she said.

YMCA students had been working with Essary on triathlon skills.

“Beginning this summer, we have had the swim team,” she said. “I have taken the more advanced swimmers on Tuesday and Thursday and they have been biking and running.”

McDougal said his son was excited about the triathlon.

“He was very enthusiastic about the race,” he said. “I was proud of him.”

Anyone interested in the YMCA’s aquatics programs can contact Essary at 874-9622.