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Kim Katko has been an active member of multi-sports events for some time.
But when she saw her son run out of gas in short order while participating in a weekly Pace Race, she realized then and there a group to help kids get and stay in shape would probably be a good thing to have.
“He took off, went 500 yards and then he got an ache in his side,” Katko said. “I was like, ‘why am I having him race when he doesn’t train?’”
Katko and Susie Schillaci formed the Triatomics Youth Group to fill that void.
The Triatomics is an active club that promotes multi-sport events and training for those events. The club puts on the Atomic Man Duathlon in the spring and usually has a big presence for other events such as the upcoming Los Alamos Triathlon.
The Triatomics’ Youth Group is nominally for kids ages 6-15, but Katko admits that age range isn’t strictly enforced. They will take kids so long as they can swim without aid and can keep themselves safe.
Safety is one of the primary concerns for the group. Participants are steered away from areas where they might encounter vehicle traffic if possible and are broken into small groups with parents closely monitoring their whereabouts.
Currently, about 30 kids take part in the group’s regular activities. Those activities include bricks (swimming and running or biking and running workouts), practicing transitions for multi-sport events, basic bike maintenance and basic conditioning and pre-workout stretching.
Katko said the Youth Group is working with other various entities around town, such as the Atomic City Roadrunners, who put on the weekly Pace Races, and the Los Alamos Aquatomics swimming club, to teach the various aspects of multi-sport training.
Eventually, the group plans to tackle competitive events including the upcoming Splash N Dash series events in July — there is a special youth course at the Splash N Dashes — and the La Tierra Dirty Duathlon and the Patriot Triathlon during the month of August, along with the Los Alamos Triathlon and Los Alamos Kids Triathlon.
Saturday, the group even held its own mini-triathlon in and around Barranca Mesa Pool.
For its regular workouts, the group usually meets during Tuesdays or Wednesdays and will occasionally meet Sundays. Those interested in getting more information about the Youth Group can visit triatomics.org.
The emphasis isn’t on winning, but simply to keep kids active and to develop an interest in fitness.
“It’s just to make exercise fun, doing it with family and with their friends,” Katko said. “It’s so easy to go outside, go for a run and go for a bike ride.”