Eagle County Iron Kids strike gold in nationals | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Iron Kids strike gold in nationals

Special to the Daily

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Your kids ride their bikes to the swimming pool and run all over their neighborhood, and the next thing you know you’re sitting on a beach in Florida basking in the glow of a national title.

Sixteen young local triathletes made the trek to St. Petersburg, Fla., for Sunday’s Iron Kids national championships.

Courtney Diemar, 6, of Eagle won a national title in her division. Sister Hayley was fifth.

Harrison Rubis, 8, finished third in the nation in his division.

“We had a pretty good day yesterday,” Jody Diemar, Hayley’s and Courtney’s mother, said during a quick phone call from a Florida beach Monday afternoon.

The Iron Kids National Triathlon Series is for kids 6 to 15 years old. The field at Sunday’s nationals was the top five of every gender and age division from the 11 Iron Kids events across the country, including Avon in July. Those 55 kids squared off in Sunday’s nationals.

Before winning the national title Sunday, Courtney won the Avon and Boulder Iron Kids events. Before finishing fifth in the nation Sunday, Hayley won Avon and was second in Boulder.

Jody grew up in Florida competing in Iron Kids, so her little Iron Kids didn’t far from the tree.

You should know that seven-time Tour de France Lance Armstrong was an Iron Kid. So were U.S. Olympians Hunter Kemper and Laura Bennett.

You should also know that as youngsters, Jody’s brother beat Armstrong, possibly one of the last people to ever do it.

Mostly Iron Kids is about getting kids to bounce their bohiney off the Barcalounger and break a sweat, and it’s all absolutely age appropriate, Jody said.

To win her national championship in the junior division, young Courtney Diemar swam 50 yards, biked two miles and and ran 500 yards. Intermediates, ages 9-11, swim 150 yards, bike four miles and run one mile. Seniors, ages 12-15, swim 300 yards, bike eight miles and run two miles.

Courtney and Hayley both swim on the Eagle swim team. They competed in the Dusty Boot short track mountain bike series all summer, and they run all over Eagle Ranch to friends’ houses.

That’s plenty of training, Jody said, and it turns out she’s right.

Like any activity, there are a few pageant parents who hover and and push and cajole and live vicariously through their children.

“It can be a little intimidating, competing against kids with all this top-of-the-line equipment. But in the end they had to run and swim and bike just like everyone else,” said Nikki Heiden, who took two kids to St. Petersburg for Sunday’s finals.

“A lot of these kids are on triathlon training teams. We saw lots of expensive equipment for these little kids,” said Nikki Heiden, who took two kids to St. Petersburg for Sunday’s finals.

The temperature hit 93 degrees during Sunday’s race. And although it was Florida, which considers humidity one of its God-given rights, the humidity was only about 50 percent.

“It was heavily dominated by teams from the Southern states who do this all the time as part of triathlon teams,” Nikki said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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