DIY Triathlon for the whole family

It’s PanAm mania this summer, the perfect time to get your family active and moving. Gather your friends and neighbours for a wet, wacky and wild triathlon event! A triathlon consists of three parts: swimming, cycling and running. Modify your race with these ideas.


1. Get Wet: Don’t have access to a pool or a lake? Never mind! Instead try:

  • water balloon race
  • slip ‘n’ slide
  • sprinkler run
  • hopping through kiddie pool(s)

Tip: Add a sunscreen reapplication station after the water portion of your race.

2. Start Rolling: You don’t have to be confident on two wheels to compete. Set up a race using:

  • scooters
  • skate boards (standing or sitting)
  • tricycles
  • roller blades
  • wagon pulls

Tip: Add a competitor number to each helmet to amp up the race.

3. Hit the Road: Make the distance age appropriate, and consider adding obstacles for fun:

  • playground equipment
  • hopscotch
  • running and skipping
  • wheel barrow race
  • three-legged race

Tip: As racers cross the finish line, have lots of water on hand for hydrating!

Want to let your kids try a real triathlon? There are plenty happening across Canada this summer. Most distances are organized according to age and can be appropriate for kids as young as three. Kids get a race bib and experience the exhilaration of running across a finish line. They’re a fun way to get your family active and outdoors together.


Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, June 2015.

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