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3-mile grind: Kids Duathlon goes through Ojibway Park, makes kids happy

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Last year's duathlon in Ojibway Park was the first big run for Ava Chabot of Cottage Grove.

She loved it and was inspired to join the track-and-field team at Math and Science Academy in Woodbury.

"It's the first thing like this that she really loved," said Ava's dad, Scott.

As the second in a three-part Kids Race Series sponsored by Woodbury and Cottage Grove parks and recreation departments, the Kids Dualthon consisted of a couple dozen young athletes despite an impending storm that just missed dumping rain on the party, once again held at Ojibway Park.

Woodbury Women of Today staffed the route, directing the runners/bicyclists on their combined 1-mile run and 2-mile ride, while parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and parks and rec staff cheered them at every turn.

Duathletes started in groups of two to five, in two waves—ages 6-9 and ages 10-12.

"If you have a friend who came with you, stay together and I'll make sure you go in the same group," Elizabeth Owens of Woodbury Parks and Rec told the kids.

The route intersected the playground area near Woodbury High School three times, so the crowd grew there.

Aimee and Neil Schmitz of Woodbury and dog Lucy were among the fans who supported the kids last Saturday. Chandler, Andrew and Jacob participated.

Stephanie Schellabarger and Jim Morley, both of Woodbury were among those documenting the event via cellphone. They were watching for Braydan Kritzeck, 8.

"Here they come!" announced volunteers Sheila McCabe and Christine Knirk.

Jacob Schmitz, 7, popped a wheelie as he passed by and later when he neared the finish line.

Another bicyclist sprinted toward the end.

"There's a smiler!" McCabe said.