After the success of the first Tri the Heights youth triathlon last September, the Grandview Heights Parks and Recreation Department is planning a series of clinics leading up to this year's event to help give even more people the confidence to try the event.

More than 250 youngsters competed last year, and there is a sense of accomplishment youngsters have when they finish, said Steve McIntosh, one of the residents working with parks and recreation staff on the event's organizing committee.

The triathlon includes swimming, biking and running.

"There were a lot of kids who weren't sure they were going to be able to do it," he said. "But I think every one of the participants completed the event last year."

"You see such happiness on their faces," committee member Jack McNamara said. "There were a lot of high fives and great big smiles."

One of the goals of Tri the Heights is to build self-confidence and encourage participants to try different sports and recreational activities, said Mike Patterson, parks and recreation director.

"It's an event to promote health, wellness, fitness and celebrate the community," he said.

This year's Tri the Heights event will be 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 31.

Registration is open at tinyurl.com/tri-info and 130 people had signed up as of May 2, McIntosh said.

"Last year we were hoping to get 100 kids to sign up, and we ended up with 257," he said. "We were blown away by the response."

People already have begun talking about the event, and "we're expecting even more will participate," recreation supervisor Taylor Lindsey said. "We want to encourage as many people as possible to sign up."

The triathlon will begin with swimming at the Grandview municipal pool. Participants will then transition into a bike race and finish by completing a running course.

The competition is divided into five age groups with various distances.

The swimming distance ranges from a splash dash for children age 6 and younger to 200 yards for youngsters in the age 11-12 and 13-14 divisions. The other age divisions are 7-8 and 9-10.

The bike race will run from a quarter mile for ages 6 and younger to 3.8 miles for the two oldest groups.

The running distance ranges from a quarter mile for the youngest division to 1 mile for ages 11 to 14.

The free clinics begin with an introductory session 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, in the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave.

"The first clinic is for both parents and kids who are curious about the event and haven't done it before," McIntosh said. "We'll be giving them the rundown on how the triathlon works, how to sign up and basics about how to prepare for it."

Anyone Can: A Hands-on/How-to Clinic will be 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. June 1 at the pool, 1350 Goodale Blvd.

The other clinics will focus on specific components. A swimming clinic is 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. July 13 at the pool. A bike skills clinic is 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Aug. 3 and a running clinic will be 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Aug. 24. Both the bike and running clinics will be held at Wyman Woods, 1520 Goodale Blvd.

All clinics are free and open to all, regardless of participation in the triathlon, McNamara said.

While no specific limits have been set for the number of youngsters who can participate in the triathlon, "it isn't an infinite number," he said.

"Maintaining the safety of everyone is the main priority, so we may get up to a number where we'll have to start turning down people," committee member Megan Hatta said. "So the earlier you register, the better."

The early bird entry fee through July 15 is $25 for Grandview and Marble Cliff residents and $30 for nonresidents. The fees are $40 and $45 from July 16 through Aug. 30.

More information about the event and a link to registration is available at the event website.

A discount code box on the checkout page of online registration will allow families who are experiencing financial hardship to opt out of the registration fees, Patterson said.

"We don't want anyone to be left out just because they are going through some tough financial times," he said.

A full slate of parks and recreation programs is on tap for the summer and registration for residents opened May 7, recreation supervisor Marta Durban said.

Others may begin registering Tuesday, May 14.

Along with such traditional events as the Memorial Day service and parade, Tour de Grandview Bike Race and Mayor's Picnic, a new event -- the First Avenue Fall Fest -- is scheduled 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at First Avenue Park, 850 First Ave.

"We'll have music, food trucks, inflatables and other family-friendly activities," Durban said. "The First Avenue Park (located at Grandview Yard) is a perfect location for these type of community events."

The Fall Fest is designed to help bring people who live and work at the Yard together with residents from the rest of the community, she said.

The Grandview Carriage Place Community Theater group will present "Slipper and the Rose," as its summer production at 7 p.m. July 11-13 and 2 p.m. July 14 at the Grandview Heights High School auditorium, 1587 W. First Ave.

"It's a musical version of the 'Cinderella' story told in a different way," Durban said. "We're going to be the first time this show's been presented in central Ohio."

Auditions are set for 6 p.m. May 21 at the Grandview Center, 1515 Goodale, and at 6 p.m May 22 at Carriage Place Recreation, 4900 Sawmill Road.

More information about the summer parks and recreation programs, including a link to the community guide, is available at grandviewheights.org.

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