WATCH: Eager youngsters take on Fitzroy Frogs' duathlon
DUATHLON: Eight-year-old twins Harry and Grace Vignale could not wait to get started at the Fitzroy Frogs Triathlon Club's Excess Energy Under-12 Duathlon today.
The sporty siblings were among 182 participants, aged three to 11, who ran, rode and ran along timed courses on Rockhampton's Quay St.
Organisers were "over the moon” with the response to the event, organised through Rockhampton Regional Council's Lively Quay Street Program.
The hot conditions failed to deter the youngsters, who strode into action with unbridled enthusiasm.
There were smiles and rosy cheeks aplenty as the youngest participants completed 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.
While the Vignales compete in a variety of sports, they had not done a duathlon and were keen to give it a go.
Grace said she was inspired by her father Mark, who is a member of the Fitzroy Frogs.
"I've seen my dad doing it and I've always wanted to do it,” she said.
"I just want to get stronger and have as much fun as I can.”
Harry added: "I like that it's not a race and you can go as slow as you like or as fast as you like.”
The event was very much about participation and Fitzroy Frogs president Craig McCormack was thrilled it was embraced in such a positive fashion.
"We're over the moon about the response,” McCormack said.
"We had 182 registered entrants and everyone enjoyed themselves.
"It was a fantastic initiative which proved kids are keen to get out and get active which is wonderful to see.
"We were very conscious about the heat. We had a number of water stations on the course, and we were keeping a close eye on the children and making sure they kept the water up.
"They were testing conditions and a few kids came in tired but it was nothing that a couple of Zooper Doopers and a hug from Mum and Dad couldn't fix.”
McCormack said while the duathlon promoted physical activity, it was also valuable in encouraging social interaction.
He said he was keen to see it happen again and the Fitzroy Frogs wanted to continue giving back to the community by hosting events, particularly for the youngsters.
"We are very grateful to the council for its support. It's this sort of encouragement that clubs need to keep planning events similar to this,” he said.
"Frogs members April Sprague and Emma Green did a fantastic job making this event happen and we also want to thank the members of the club who provided volunteer support.
"It all came together really well and it bodes well for the future.”