More Than a Race

Tri! Ballantyne encourages wellness, community

By Sarah Gallo

Brian Vest, assistant executive director of the Morrison Family YMCA and Sara’s YMCA

Tri! Ballantyne has been a staple of Ballantyne’s wellness scene since its start eight years ago by the Morrison Family YMCA. A few board members decided locals deserved the chance to swim, bike and run right in the heart of Ballantyne.

This year’s race is designed for participants of all skill levels and, with the Kids Tri! and Preschool Fun Tri!, offers fun for the whole family. The race will feature a 150-yard swim, 4-mile bike and 2k run, and will take place on Saturday, July 14 at the Morrison Family YMCA.

Brian Vest, assistant executive director of the Morrison Family YMCA and Sara’s YMCA, talked on how this year’s race is different than in years past.

“One thing that’s unique about our trip this year is that we’ve shortened the distances of the swim, the bike and the run – really, anybody can do it,” Vest explained. “It’s not just for someone that is training for triathlon. If they have any interest in completing a triathlon this is a great entry-level event for them.”

For those looking for more of a challenge, Tri! Ballantyne participants are welcome to do a double-loop of the race course at no additional cost. After the race, all participants will receive a medal and are welcome to local grub, music, prizes and a shining sense of accomplishment.

Further marking Tri! Ballantyne a community-centric event, all race proceeds go toward helping local children utilize the Morrison Family YMCA’s preschool and afterschool programs, camps and sports activities – with last year’s race raising more than $50,000.

Vast explained why Tri! Ballantyne has become such a family-favorite venture for Ballantynians of all kinds.

“Our Kids! Tri is a huge piece of what makes this event special,” Vest said. “Anytime you see a 4-year-old or a 10-year-old completing a triathlon, watching their sense of accomplishment is something really special to be a part of.”

Last year, Vest’s oldest daughter participated in the Preschool Fun Tri!, and this year his youngest daughter will participate in the same race – which just so happens to be on her 4th birthday. According to Vest, she’s already talking about receiving a medal at the end of the race – just like her older sister.

At heart, Tri! Ballantyne is a refreshing reminder of the area’s ever-growing sense of community.

“It’s a real feel-good event for the community to come together around people who are setting goals and accomplishing them,” Vest said.

To participate in this year’s Tri! Ballantyne, visit Tickets are available up until race day, but prices increase after July 1.