Author: Jeremy Granger
Date I Attended: November 6, 2015
Location: Panama City Beach, FL
Website: Ironkids North America
Description: Ironkids is open to children 3 - 14 years of age. Parents had the option of signing their youngster up for either a 1/2 mile or 1-mile run, out and back along S Thomas Drive. At packet pickup/registration, the kids received an Ironkids t-shirt and bib to wear during the race. The start/finish line was just outside Ironman Village, and the group was lead by a cyclist that guided the kids along their respective routes. Upon finishing, each participant received an Ironkids finisher medal and something to drink.
Opinion: I love Ironman events, the World Triathlon Corporation puts a lot of thought into their races, even for the kids. Ironkids feels as much like the run part of an Ironman as possible, and it is a great way for them to join in on the Ironman fun. From the Ironkids' t-shirt to the Ironman race announcer, this race had everything an up and coming triathlete could want. The finish line was the exact one that all the Ironman Florida participants were dreaming of crossing on the following day, and even the finisher medal was spectacular, with a premium sublimated ribbon and a gold medallion with Ironkids on it.
The only problem you might encounter is trying to get a picture of your child finishing. Don't be surprised if another parent jumps in front of your camera to get a picture of their kid crossing the finish line. Even if you secure a spot that you think is great, ten other parents with arms longer than yours may be blocking that perfect shot. Just in case you can't get a good picture of your favorite athlete at the finish line, you can take them into Ironman village and get them to pose with their finisher's medal in front of the Ironman banner.
Would I recommend signing your child/children up? Definitely. If you find yourself at an Ironman with your kid/s, then I would go for it. Registration is $15 for early registration, and both the kids and parents love it.