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Walters YMCA promotes winter fitness with annual indoor triathlon
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YMCA Volunteers give swimmers a one minute warning with yellow cards before Saturday’s Indoor Sprint Triathlon at the J.A. Walters Family YMCA in Gainesville. - photo by ALEXANDER W. POPP

Fitness and fun were the goals Saturday as the J.A. Walters Family YMCA played host to its third annual Indoor Sprint Triathlon.

Aimed at promoting fitness during the slow winter months, the event was attended by 19 participants with a range of ages and skill levels competing.

Participants competed for time and distance in three events; 15 minutes of swimming, 30 minutes on a stationary bike, and 15 minutes running on a treadmill.

According YMCA Health and Wellness Director Angie Beccue, events like the indoor triathlon are important to the community in the winter because of the focus they bring back into people’s fitness schedules.

“We always have a big burst in the new year, everyone wants to start their resolutions,” Beccue said, “But we want to encourage people when they start falling off of their routines and other things start becoming their priority, just to keep them motivated keep them going toward a goal.”

YMCA staff members hope that by offering fitness classes and events throughout the year, members will move toward fitness as a way of life rather than an activity driven by guilt once a year.

“It’s the right step,” Beccue said, “We have people of all ages at these events. ... Today we had 15 as our youngest and we have 83 as our oldest.”

The 83-year-old, Roger Futrell, a spry eight-year veteran of the YMCA, confessed that even though it was his first triathlon, he couldn’t have felt better.

“It might be my first time, and my last time. But it was a great experience,” Futrell said.

Futrell went on to win first place in the over 80s age bracket, where he was the only participant.

Though the triathlon is over, Beccue assures those interested that the YMCA will host several other events later this year, including a kids fitness day in April and a 5-kilometer road race next fall.

To learn more about the J.A. Walters YMCA sponsored fitness events this year, visit its website,  www.gamountainsymca.org.

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