Organisers of the festival have unveiled a programme of junior races for children aged 11-16, all launching this year. Events will include ‘aquathlons’ (swim-run races), trail runs and a triathlon, all set to take place in and around Keswick during the 2017 festival, which will be held from 8-11 June.
The new events will start on Friday 9 June, when Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) will put on a series of aquathlons and trail races for secondary schools in Cumbria. The all new KMF Aquathlons will include races for children aged 11-12, 13-14 and 15-16 and will form part of the British Triathlon Federation’s national Go Tri campaign to inspire more juniors and novices to get involved in triathlon events. On the same day, there will be a junior trail run of 1.5km for children aged 11-13 and 3km for those aged 14-16. The events will start and finish at the heart of KMF, in the Festival Village on Crow Park.
On Saturday 10 June, junior competitors will be able to take part in either the Salomon 5K Trail Race or the KMF Short Triathlon (400m swim, 18km cycle, 5km run). The festival has also added aquathlons to the weekend schedule for the first time, with three events on Sunday 11 June, again for children aged 11-12, 13-14 and 15-16. As with the Friday races, all of the weekend’s junior events will start and finish in the Festival Village, so that friends, family and other spectators can cheer on the young participants. The events are open to all young visitors to the festival, many of whom are expected to take part while their parents also tackle sports events at KMF.
As well as the new events, the KMF Mini Triathlon for primary school children will also return, on Thursday 8 June. Based at Keswick Leisure Centre and in Fitz Park, the event will see children tackle a 25m swim, 1km cycle and 400m run.
Nicola Meadley, Keswick Mountain Festival director, comments: “We’re really pleased to be able to expand the Keswick Mountain Festival sports event programme in this way. Our mini triathlon for primary school children is well established and many of the children who took part a few years ago will now be able to test themselves in the school aquathlons or trail races. The addition of junior events to the weekend is going to bring even more excitement and spectacle to the Festival Village in Crow Park. We’re looking forward to a great atmosphere and I am certain that the junior races will contribute a lot to that.”