IRONKIDS launches in Scotland
I have written about the new IRONKIDS event that comes to Edinburgh this summer in my Sunday Mail column. See the pdf of the feature or read the full story below.
What is IRONKIDS?
IRONKIDS is for children and comprises a two-day series of three running events. The events are for youngsters aged three to 14 and take place in Midlothian, East Lothian and Edinburgh.
Tell me more: IRONKIDS is an extension of the triathlon race brand IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3, but for children.
Every year, 50,000 young people take part in IRONKIDS races worldwide. Now IRONKIDS will be staged for the first time in Scotland this June, with 3000 children expected to sign up.
IRONKIDS Scotland will be an addition to IRONMAN 70.3 Edinburgh, a middle-distance triathlon, which was first staged in the capital last year.
The events are also a key part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 celebrations.
IRONKIDS will comprise three mass-participation running events with courses of between 500m and 2km.
Each event will have race distances to suit different age groups and the finish line will be the iconic IRONMAN 70.3 Edinburgh arch.
The first IRONKIDS Scotland event will be staged at Dalkeith Country Park, Midlothian, on Friday June 29.
The next day, there will be two further events at Prestonpans in East Lothian, and at Holyrood Park, Edinburgh.
Paul McGreal, race director for IRONMAN 70.3 Edinburgh, said: “We’re delighted to be able to bring IRONKIDS to Scotland alongside the IRONMAN 70.3 Edinburgh.
“It has been an ambition for some time and the incredible support of the Year of Young People and our partners in the local authorities has made it possible.
“We’re looking forward to seeing up to 3000 young people having fun, being active and demonstrating their skills and abilities.”
More about the events: The cost of entry for each IRONKIDS Scotland event is £4 (plus 8 per cent fee processing cost).
Race distances are approximately 500m for Primary One and two age groups. These children must run with a parent or guardian.
The race extends to 1km for P3 to P6; 1.5km for P7 to S2; and 2km for those in S3 and S4 (up to age 14).
Each child who takes part will receive an IRONKIDS T-shirt and an IRONKIDS medal.
The IRONKIDS event at Dalkeith Country Park starts from 4pm on June 29.
On June 30, the IRONKIDS event takes place at Preston Links, High Street, in Prestonpans for 11am.
From 3pm, another IRONKIDS is staged at the capital’s Holyrood Park, on Queen’s Drive, from 3pm.
For registration times see the IRONMAN Edinburgh 70.3 Edinburgh website.
Councillor Donald Wilson, who is Edinburgh’s Culture and Communities Convener, said: “As a keen marathon runner I know first-hand the benefits of physical activity.
“I think this family event is a great idea for encouraging young people to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, and have great fun while they’re at it.
“With races from 500 metres to 2km, it really does offer something for children of all abilities.”
Anything else to know?: IRONKIDS Scotland is also looking for young volunteers to assist with the delivery of the events as part of Year of Young People 2018.
Young people aged eight to 26 can sign up to help with a variety of roles including marshalling, customer services and registration on the day.
There will be opportunities to help with other aspects of the events, such as choosing and running the entertainments and taster sessions, too.
For more information about volunteering for IRONKIDS Scotland – Midlothian, East Lothian and Edinburgh – and to register interest, visit the volunteer section at IRONKIDS Scotland.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland is celebrating the Year of Young People this year, where the spotlight is shining on young people’s talents and contributions.
“Working with the events and festivals industry in Scotland, 2018 provides us with a special opportunity to showcase our rich annual events programme and a host of new events.
“We are delighted to be supporting IRONKIDS Scotland through dedicated Year of Young People funding.
“I’m sure it will create a wonderful family atmosphere across each of the three locations.”
What is IRONMAN?: IRONMAN is a series of events that is claimed to be the “world’s most challenging endurance race series”.
The iconic three-discipline race comprises a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle and a marathon run.
It’s now 40 years since the first IRONMAN and there are more than 200 events staged in 50 countries.
In 2017, IRONMAN 70.3 Edinburgh, a middle distance triathlon, was the first IRONMAN-branded event to be staged in Scotland.
Some 1625 athletes – 80 per cent men and 20 per cent women – from 31 countries registered to take part.
The winner crossed the finish line in 3 hours 55 minutes and 21 seconds.