The bi-annual Bedford Junior Aquathlon is set to make a splash on Sunday 24 March, as young athletes from school years 3 to 11 gather at Bedford Park and Robinson Pool for an exhilarating swim and run event.
The event, now in its eighteenth year, has become a real highlight for families in Bedford Borough, offering children the chance to showcase their swimming and running prowess, with routes tailored to their age group. The action kicks off with a staggered start, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants.
Councillor Sarah Gallagher, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, expressed her excitement for the upcoming event, saying, "This is always a wonderful event and it’s lovely to see families cheering on their children as they run around our beautiful Bedford Park. Twice a year, the Bedford Junior Aquathlon brings together over a hundred enthusiastic young athletes, with 121 participants in October 2023, and they each deserve their medal for completing the course.
“The Aquathlon not only provides an opportunity for friendly competition but also encourages children to challenge themselves, promoting a sense of achievement and self-improvement and for those that have entered before, the real aim is to beat their own time!”
The distances vary to accommodate different age groups, ranging from a 66-metre swim and 600-metre run for Year 3 participants, up to a 400-metre swim and 2.8-kilometre run for those in Years 10 and 11. The running routes wind through picturesque loops around Bedford Park, featuring both grass and surfaced paths.
To ensure a smooth swimming experience, participants are requested to provide an estimated swim time when completing the entry form. This enables organisers to start children in order of fastest to slowest, minimising overtaking in the pool and enhancing the overall safety of the event.
Every child who takes part will receive a medal, and awards will be presented to the top three finishers, both boys and girls, from each year group. Individual results will be emailed to participants on Monday 25 March.
Entries for this exciting event are now open, with a registration fee of just £9 per child. The deadline for online entry forms is 5pm on Tuesday, 12 March. To register and find more details about the Bedford Junior Aquathlon, please visit www.bedford.gov.uk/aquathlon. Please note that no entries will be accepted on the day of the event.
Participants are reminded to come prepared with swimwear, towels, and optional goggles for the swim, while a t-shirt, shorts/trousers/leggings/tracksuit trousers, and trainers are necessary for the run. All items can be conveniently placed at the poolside before the event. They’ll also need to bring a water bottle to stay hydrated during this exciting day of aquatic and athletic fun.