ST. JOSEPH ISLAND Countless boys and girls waited patiently in the mid-summer heat for their moment to shine Saturday and when it came, they made the most of it.
After spending a good portion of the day cheering and supporting family and friends in the adult competition at the fourth annual St. Joseph Island Triathlon, it was time for the youngsters to make a splash in the Kids of Steel event.
And boy did they shine.
For some youngsters the Kids of Steel was their first attempt at a triathlon-type competition while others, such as Jack Carlyle, used their experience and moxie to churn out a victory.
The 14-year-old Carlyle, competing in his third triathlon in four years, finished first in his division by completing the 400-metre swim followed by a 10-kilometre bike ride and a four-kilometre run in 50 minutes and 51 seconds.
The Sault Ste. Marie native, who swims competitive year round, did most of his damage in the water by emerging with a two minute lead over his nearest rival.
“I give it my all whatever the sport is,” said Carlyle, who will decide after the 2008 race whether to continue competing as his Kids of Steel days come to a close.
“I was going to enter the Tri-a-Tri but decided not to,” he said. “I am only in kids of steel a little while longer.”
Spencer Bordin, 9, also from the Sault, chalked up his second win in three years. He finished the 75 metre swim followed by a five-kilometre bike ride and a 1,000-metre run in 14:27 to win the 8-9-year-old division.
His time was 30 seconds better than the one posted in 2006 that landed him a second-place finish. In 2005, Bordin won his first triathlon.
Despite Saturday’s win, he was not pleased with his swim as he came out of the water in 11th place.
“Once I got out of the water, I kept going and did my best,” Bordin said. “I knew if I put everything I had into the race, I would do well.”
Many adult spectators and racers complained of the intense heat, but not Bordin, who said he was too focused on the race to worry about the temperature.
Bordin was particularly pleased with the number of bystanders along the roadway cheering on the athletes.
“It made me feel good,” he said.
Eight-year-old cousins Devin Dickerson, of Grandville, Mich., and Daniel Van Boerdonk of the Sault, were delighted with their “middle of the pack” finish for their first time out.
The Dickerson’s were reportedly visiting with family in the Sault and by accident, heard about the competition and were encouraged by Van Boerdonk to sign up.
Van Boerdonk finished 14th with a time of 17:31, four seconds ahead of his cousin.