Questions about starting a Kids TRI

I recently received some great questions from Nicole, a brave soul that is contemplating starting a Kids TRI in Alabama. I thought I would share her questions and my responses

1.timing systems–suggestions on inexpensive companies or are there rental options?

-We have always gone with full split chip timing on our kids triathlons. We want to offer a quality event and give the kids feedback that they can take away. Maybe they didn’t do well overall, but almost always there is a bright spot to focus on when you drill down to the times on the events. The cost on this will vary depending on how many timing companies are in your areas. I would get a few quotes. Expect to pay around $2000.

2.template for waiver for event?

– I always recommend that you use USAT to sanction your triathlon events. This does a couple of things for you. It provides insurance for the event and comes with the standard USAT waiver that  includes language releasing the facility, production company, etc…from liability. Of course all waivers can be challenged in court and that is why you need to produce a safe event. USAT sanctioning requires that you follow an online checklist of safety issues as well. The flip side to this is that all your kids/participants will need to be annual USAT members or buy the single day pass for $10. If you use ACTIVE for registration, you can sell the one day membership online when you register kids for the event.

3.suggestions for private insurance for event?

– There are a few companies that will offer private insurance for this type of event, but in my opinion there are gaps in the coverages in most of these policies and the USAT option is better.

4.did you have your own tax ID?  Your own bank account?  How did you handle sponsors?  If they gave money did you give them a receipt as a charitable donation?

– When we began to explore the idea of starting a kids triathlon in our area, we realized that this couldn’t/shouldn’t be a couple of private citizens taking on this challenge. From a liability standpoint, this would be crazy and leave us wide open for lawsuits, we approached a local non profit (Childrens Museum) and we operated the triathlon as part of their programing. This helped in a couple of ways. First, we worked under the non-tax umbrella of the museum and that helped us attract sponsors and donations. Secondly, the museum has a broad liability policy that covered our pre and post race production. The USAT Insurance (or any private insurance policy for that matter) will only cover you during the actual event. You need protection for the months leading up to and after the event as well. 10 months long enough time to plan?

– Yes, that is just about the  smallest time period I would attempt, but you can do it.

6.can we purchase bike racks?  Make bike racks?

– You can probably rent the adult style racks from the timing company you use. You definitely want to use bike racks. I have seen too many kids triathlons try to use tape or kickstands and it is a mess in transition. The small kids 6 to 11 or so will not be able to reach the larger adult bike racks. We actually made 30 wooden racks that allow for the kids to slot their front tire in the rack. They work perfectly and you might be able to get your local Lowes to donate the wood. We use these for our 6 to 10 year olds.