CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- More than 500 ToughKids from Westchester and the tri-state area competed Saturday morning at Croton Point Park in a swimming, cycling and running triathlon event as part of the 5th Annual Toughman event.
The ToughKids event included children in age groups 4-6, 7-10 and 11-14 with increasing event distances for each group. The ToughKids swim event ranged from 20 yards for the youngest group to 200 yards for the 14-17 age group; bike event went from 1 mile to 5 miles and the run ranged from 20 yards to 1 mile.
Irvington siblings Will and Hannah Tuckett waded into the Hudson River together in the 4-6 and 7-10 age group divisions and each finished the race unscathed and smiling.
"The swim part was hard because the water was low and everyone was running and not swimming," 6-year-old Will said. "It was our second time and it was good."
Hannah said the toughest challenge for the ToughKids was the transitions from swim to cycling and cycling to running.
"I couldn't find my shoes and it was hard to go from the swimming to the bike," the 8-year-old said. "I do soccer, gymnastics and tennis, too. Some people fell off the bikes. This is fun though."
Despite hectic changeovers from the swim event to the cycling, including a few bike bumps, misdirections and confusion by racers finding their way between events, the young athletes showed tenacity in dealing with the courses.
"It was fun and a little hard in the swimming part," said Cameron Rowe, a New York city participant, who ran alongside twin brother Connor. "I was pushing Connor when we were running. The race went fine."
Event officials put the exact number of ToughKids participants at 567.
The main event Toughman and ToughTeen portions of the weekend are set for Sunday morning beginning with a 6:45 a.m. gathering for the 1-mile swim off Croton Point, followed by a 56-mile bike race through the Croton and the climactic half marathon finish (13.1 miles).
For more information about the event, go to toughmantri.com.