Children swim and run their way through Splash and Dash race
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The first annual Star City Splash and Dash race brought nearly 50 children together for a fun filled morning at the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Gentile Hall on Saturday, June 16.
Starting in the indoor pool, the children lined up in groups of six and swam one lap before dashing outside and running four laps, the equivalent of one mile, behind Gentile Hall. The race was non-timed and everyone received a medal and event T-shirt for participating.
The Splash and Dash, co-sponsored by The Aroostook Medical Center, SAD 1 Adult and Community Education, UMPI and University Credit Union, is a spin-off of the Aroostook Youth Triathlon, which previously included a cycling portion of the race. Event organizers decided to instead hold a Splash and Dash to avoid safety risks and complications associated with the cycling race.
“Some bikes ended up not passing the safety inspections for the course and it also became hard for many families to transport their bikes to campus,” Jamie Guerrette, TAMC community health specialist, said. “When we heard about other states doing Splash and Dash, we thought this would be a fun way to get more families involved.”
Many children also had the opportunity to train for the race during the six-week Star City Splash and Dash with coaches at Gentile Hall’s indoor running track and pool.
Raegan McCormick, 11, of Presque Isle, participated in both the Splash and Dash Club and Saturday’s race.
“My favorite part was the running section,” she said, after completing the race and receiving her medal.
Carter Vigue, 10, of Castle Hill, took part in both the club and race as well and said his favorite part was the swimming section.
“I think the best part is just the fun of racing,” he said.
The next Splash and Dash will be held at the Mapleton Recreation Department on June 30 at 1 p.m. and the third will take place at the Fort Fairfield Recreation Center on July 20 at 12:30 p.m. Children who take part in all three races will receive the “Triple Crown” trophy.