For members of the newfound Multisport Explosion Youth Triathlon team, the three childhood pastimes have transformed into modes of entertainment, competition, and self-satisfaction.
“It’s always fun to swim, bike and run,” said Lisa Marshall, head coach and founder of the Multisport Explosion Youth Triathlon team. “Those are the activities that we all did as kids when we just went out to play.”
Started in the March of 2011, the youth triathlon club was a vision of Marshall’s and her husband Keith as they juggled their own tri-athlete training with that of their two sons, Clay and Alex.
“There were no triathlon teams for my sons so they were stuck going for training rides and runs with Mom and Dad. Sometimes that was a lot of fun and sometimes it was not!”
“Starting the team is something I wanted to do for several years because I’m so passionate about the sport and my love for coaching youth athletics,” said Marshall, who is also a community swim coach for Alpharetta High School.
The Multisport Explosion team, with athletes ranging in age from 5 to 17, now has 72 members and 10 USA Triathlon All-Americans working as volunteer coaches. The team practices three times a week at local parks — dedicating a day each week towards a 90-minute training session for a specific activity.
Marshall said the kids work on technique and skill development in each discipline, speed and endurance training, and neuromuscular activation.
But most of all, the club incorporates a whole lot of fun.
“We do a lot of games and relays. We do hill repeats and wind sprints in relay format and they don’t even realize [they are training], they are just racing for their team.”
“They have a blast training or “playing” together at practice, and they love to cheer on their teammates while racing.”
Training in six-week increments, the club culminates each session with a trip to a team event like the Peach Kids triathlon in Gainesville on July 29 or the IronKids Alpharetta Triathlon at Wills Park in September — a team event they won a year ago.
“I like to have at least one race on the calendar during each session so they can train and then put all that hard work together for a race,” Marshall said.
“It’s always satisfying to get yourself across that finish line.”