Biking, Swimming, Running: WeHo’s Youth Triathlon Program

West Hollywood youth triathlon participants in the Long Beach Triathlon.
West Hollywood youth triathlon participants in the Long Beach Triathlon.

The public’s attention of late has focused on whether West Hollywood Park will provide room for those four-legged children known as dogs. But that hasn’t stopped an ambitious program to train young, two-legged park patrons to participate in triathlons

The West Hollywood triathlon program, offered in conjunction with the Pacific Triathlon League (PTL), just completed its first eight-week session, and the fall session begins Sept. 22. Participants, ages 9 to 17, train from 5 to 7 p.m. each Monday and Wednesday in West Hollywood Park. There is no residency requirement for participants. The summer session includes a “Team West Hollywood” contingent as well as its “Team Beverly Hills” counterpart. PTL director Susan Kolko hopes more west L.A.-area young people will get involved.

“We’re growing a sport, and we’re doing this as a community,” she said.

All training takes place on WeHo park grounds, but the eight-week sessions culminate with opportunities for participants to take part in off-site races.

Triathlons include biking, swimming and running—but it is okay if a youth participant can’t do all three of those things. He or she can take part in races by being part of a relay team.

“What we’re really trying to do is build a mentor program for the kids,” said Kolko, who noted that almost all of the program’s coaches are involved in college-level athletics at the University of California-Los Angeles.

The program costs $150 per session, which includes all the training in WeHo. Other off-site PTL opportunities are sometimes offered for additional fees. Registration can be done at West Hollywood Pool, 647 N. San Vicente at El Tovar, anytime during pool hours.

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