DUATHLON: Youngsters will set Rockhampton's city heart racing this weekend when they line up for the Fitzroy Frogs Triathlon Club's Excess Energy Under-12 Duathlon.
The inaugural event has been organised through the Rockhampton Regional Council's Lively Quay Street Program, which is designed to bring the city's redeveloped riverfront to life this summer.
Fitzroy Frogs' president Craig McCormack is hoping more than 150 enthusiastic youngsters greet the start line on Sunday morning.
The event is free and open to children aged three to 11.
The youngest participants will do a 15-minute course, the seven to nine-year-olds a 20-minute course and the 10 and 11-year-olds a 30-minute course.
There will also be an assisted category where an adult can be on the course with a three, four or five-year-old.
The duathlon will be run along Quay St, with the transition area in Denham St.
McCormack said it was non-competitive and there were no set distances, and pushbikes and scooters could be ridden.
"This will allow children of any skill level to take part in a timed, participation- based community sporting event,” he said.
"I know the enjoyment and the personal satisfaction you can get out of being part of an event and we want to share that with the youngsters.
"It might even encourage a few of them to get out on their bike or go for a run with their mum or dad a little more often.
"In the back of my mind, I'm hoping this could create that little spark inside them that may actually have an impact for the rest of their lives.”
McCormack applauded the council for the innovative program which made the duathlon a reality, and he paid tribute to his fellow Frogs' members April Sprague and Emma Green, who had done much of the leg work required.
"The plan is just to create a bit of fun and give the kids a chance to get out and feel that adventure, while utilising Quay St, which is a fantastic venue,” he said.
"I take my hat off to Rocky Regional Council for being so active in this regard.
"They're looking for ways the community can benefit from the assets that we have.”
McCormack accepts there might be some teething problems given this is the first event of its kind the club has staged, but he is hopeful it can become a regular event.
"There's no reason why we can't refine this, learn from what we do this time around and build it into something bigger,” he said.
"We want to make it such a fun event that everyone wants to come back and do it again.”
The Frogs will have a barbecue on Sunday, and there will also be children's activities on the day.
The first event will start at 8.15am on Sunday, with the last at 10am.
Registrations close on Friday. Go to the Fitzroy Frogs Excess Energy Under-12 Duathlon page or email excess.energy. firstname.lastname@example.org.