By: Brie Siems
My name is Brie Siems and I am 14 years old. I am a freshman at Hackett Prep. I enjoy being outdoors and have a passion for being active. I participate in many sports such as soccer, swimming, running, basketball, and skiing. I like triathlons because they include swimming and running. This past summer, I competed in many triathlons in addition to running in multiple 5k races in the area.
My brothers and I volunteered at the Kid’s MiTi triathlon in Grand Rapids this past August. I really enjoy volunteering at races. I watched so many kids arrive in the transition area to set up. They were so happy and excited. For some of them, this was their first kid’s triathlon ever. I was able to help set up the food table and mark the kids’ arms and legs. It was fun to see all of the kids gathered at the water start. I helped some kids get their socks on in transition and take their heavy bikes off of the rack for them. I was even able to hand out all of the medals to the kids when they finished. It wasn’t that long ago that I was one of those kids who was new to triathlons and learning the basics. Now, I am helping kids in the race. It’s a good thing to give back and encourage others who are new to triathlons.
I also had the opportunity to race in the MiTi Olympic Relay triathlon the next day with my two brothers, Kellen (14) and Sean (16). This triathlon is a 1500m swim, 40k bike and 10k run. I was encouraged to do the swim leg. The swim course looked very long and it was my first time swimming this distance with no break. It was also my first time racing in a wetsuit, which really does improve speed and comfort in the water. Luckily, I have been training on a swim team so I was ready! We all have strengths and weaknesses, but it was perfect because I was better at swimming. The race ended well with each of us getting a finisher medal and a 3rd place overall Olympic Relay medal. My brothers and I worked hard but also worked well together as a team.
Athletic Mentors provides great support and opportunities. In addition to helping with gear, it provides a network of people that help you out.