Youngsters may sign up for ‘Red, White and Bang’ triathlon

Labor Day is two weeks away and the deadline to sign up for the annual “Red, White and Bang” children’s triathlon – the signature fundraising event for Lawrence Township’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show – is drawing near.

The deadline to sign up for the children’s triathlon, which is always held on Labor Day, is Aug. 23. Labor Day is Sept. 2. A registration form is available at www.lawrencetwp.com on the Recreation Department page.

There is no race-day registration for the Sept. 2 event, which is geared toward children between the ages of 6 and 16. The event is a scaled-down version of an adult triathlon. The triathlon has swimming bicycling and running segments.

The “Red, White and Bang” triathlon will be held at the Lawrence Swimming Association, 74 Craven Lane, up the street from the Lawrenceville Elementary School.

Participation is limited to the first 200 children who sign up by the Aug. 23 deadline. The entry fee includes a special event T-shirt – $30 for a cotton T-shirt and $50 for a moisture-wicking T-shirt.

A completed registration form, which must be accompanied by the fee in cash or by check, may be dropped off at the Recreation Department in the municipal building, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The form may also be mailed to the Lawrence Township Recreation Department, P.O. Box 6006, Lawrence Township, NJ 08648.

Children age 6-9 will swim 50 meters in the pool, ride their bicycles for 2 miles in Village Park, and run for three-quarters of a mile around the Lawrenceville Elementary School.  Check-in is by 9:30 a.m. and the race starts at 10 a.m.

Children age 10-12 will swim for 100 meters and children age 13-16 will swim for 200 meters. All will ride their bicycles for 2 miles in Village Park and run for 1.5 miles around the Lawrenceville Elementary School. Check-in time is 7:30 a.m. and the race starts at 8 a.m.

For safety reasons, all children must be able to swim at least 50 meters. No flotation devices will be permitted. No training wheels, tricycles or scooters are allowed on the bicycle leg. All participants must wear a CPSC-approved helmet while riding a bicycle.

Volunteers are needed and should contact the Recreation Department at 609-844-7067 weekdays, or by email at recreation@lawrencetwp.com

Although the 2020 fireworks show is still many months away, the fundraising effort began as soon as the last fireworks shell exploded. The goal is to raise money for next year’s fireworks show at Rider University.

Lawrence Township paid for the fireworks show for many years, but budget issues in 2010 forced the cancellation of the show, much to the disappointment of spectators who would fill the lawn on the school’s campus to watch it.

That’s when two Lawrence residents – Dana Meth and Harper Collins – suggested the children’s triathlon to then-Superintendent of Recreation Steve Groeger. The first “Red, White and Bang” triathlon was held on Labor Day 2010.

Meth and Collins said at the time that their children participated in similar events in other communities. The women were active runners and also belonged to the Lawrenceville Swimming Association.