YMCA’s Splash & Dash creates the champions of tomorrow

By: Sean K. Thompson
| Published 06/13/2022


THE WOODLANDS, TX – The YMCA Kids Triathlon Summer Race Series has a new event, the Splash & Dash, presented by Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. Last weekend, dozens of children aged 7-15 entered the event, a morning of friendly competition and physical activity that would lead to a lifetime of fitness, at the Shadowbend branch of the YMCA on Research Forest..

Inaugural event keeps young athletes active for the summer

As the name implies, the event was equal parts swimming and running, spread out among nine age divisions with boys and girls competing separately in their age groups. Entrants aged 7-9 did a 100-yard swim and one field lap of approximately a quarter mile. Entrants aged 10-12 did a 150-yard swim and ran two field laps. Entrants aged 13-15 did a 200-yard swim and ran three times around the field.

Roxanne Davis, the race director and community liaison at YMCA, was proud of how the race turned out. “This race is based on the success of our kids’ triathlon that we’ve had for nearly twenty years,” she said. “We tried to introduce a different portion of this and also added older age groups of children. We’re trying different things and making sure we have a summer race at least once a month.”

Davis was also thrilled at the turnout. “We are so excited; my goal was to have a hundred entrants this year and we made that goal easily. Everyone seems to be having a good time, the weather has been great, and our sponsors have been so supportive, and of course our volunteers are so amazing. And a special shout-out to The Woodlands chapter of the National Charity league , and of course many thanks to our title sponsor – Texas Children's Hospital – because we could not have done this without them.”

Two entrants in particular stood out. Young athlete Angel Flores blasted across the finish line and ‘flexed his stuff’ for the cameras, showing off his hard-earned medal to all. Also, Liam Masterson, whose leg is affected by a venous malformation, crossed the finish line with a veritable entourage of supporters running alongside him as the crowd cheered.

Liam’s father Brian’s pride couldn’t be contained at his son’s achievement. “Liam was motivated from the moment he woke up before sunrise this morning. He stretched, ate his Wheaties, and had a no-quit attitude; he said he’d finish this race and he did.”

Liam himself had a winner’s attitude at the end of the race. “I feel great. My leg hurts but I pushed through it,” he said.

There were winners in each age group who received medals, and all entrants earned a trophy. They have a few weeks before the next YMCA-sponsored kids’ race planned for next month.

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