By Alex Edel
George Sandler â11 and Michael Williams â11 both competed in the Malibu sprint triathlon, which consists of a 0.5 mile swim, an 18 mile bike ride, and a 4 mile run.
After Sandlerâs father competed in a triathlon this summer, Sandler decided that it might be fun to compete in one himself and asked his friend, Williams, to compete with him.
Although both boys play other sports, Sandler plays lacrosse and Williams plays soccer, neither had ever competed in a triathlon before.
“I like it because itâs different. Itâs way more than swimming, biking, and running; it requires a lot of strategy and planning.” Sandler said.
Both boys found the swimming section the hardest part.
“By far the hardest part of triathalon for me is the swimming, simply because it is so crowded; it feels like everybody is kicking and hitting you when it starts,” Williams said. “The cold ocean water isnât really a plus either. I have also never been much of a swimmer; Iâve always stuck to land sports.”
Sandler began his training last August, and worked on improving all three aspects of the race.
“I was already pretty into cycling so that helped with the running and endurance, but I did no swimming at all so I had a swim coach to help me out with that,” Sandler said.
Williams completed the triathlon in 2 hours, 1 minute, 18 seconds, and Sandler finished with a time of 2 hours, 7.4 seconds.
“I think it was a pretty hard course because of the currents in the ocean and the rolling hills in the biking course,” Williams said.
This year was the triathlonâs 23rd running, and the raceâs sponsor, Nautica, said a large percentage of the Zuma Beach community came out to watch.
Over 4000 athletes participated, and the money earned goes to Childrenâs Hospital of Los Angeles. This year the event brought in more than $950,000.
The money goes to “curing and preventing childhood cancers. The Pediatric Cancer Research Program at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles provides groundbreaking treatments and therapies for children with some of the most serious and life-threatening pediatric cancers,” the eventâs website said.
Several celebrities participated in this yearâs festivities including actors Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey and Felicity Huffman.
“I think my favorite part of the triathlon I ran was the nerves you could feel in the air before the start of the race,” Williams said.
“Everybody is anxious with nervous excitement and itâs a really cool atmosphere; Iâve never experienced anything like that before,” Williams said.