LAKEWOOD RANCH — Six-year-old Audrey Muller’s entire body ached.
But, she refused to give up.
After all, there was a boy right behind her, and Audrey wasn’t about to let him pass by her.
So, with less than a quarter-mile left in the race, Audrey dug in and ran for the finish line.
The McNeal Elementary School first-grader’s hard work paid off, because she finished first in her age group at the Rockn’ Heartland Youth Triathlon Series Aug. 12, in Sebring. Audrey finished the race, which included a 25-yard swim, one-mile bike ride and a quarter-mile run, in 12 minutes, 18 seconds.
Audrey’s older sister, Emery, 8, met her sister at the finish line. Emery also finished first in her respective age group, finishing her 50-yard swim, two-mile bike ride and half-mile run in 18:30.
“It meant a lot (to win) because it was my first triathlon and I got first place,” Emery said. “I was super happy.”
“It means a lot to me,” said Audrey, who was the first girl to cross the finish line. “I wanted to get first place, so I could get my first trophy.”
The sisters began training for their first triathlon a few months ago after watching their parents compete in triathlons.
Emery and Audrey, who both swim for the Lakewood Ranch YMCA Wave Runners, spent nearly every day practicing one component of the triathlon. The girls would ride their bikes through their neighborhood while their mom, Melissa, ran.
“It was really easy because I’m really good at swimming, biking and running,” Emery said.
Emery preferred the swim; while Audrey preferred the bike ride.
“I like swimming because it’s lots of fun, and you don’t get that hot when you’re swimming,” Emery said.
Although, both girls admit the run was, by far, the most challenging part of the entire race.
“It’s really hard,” Audrey said.
The sisters still continue to train as often as they can in hope of participating in their next triathlon in the spring.
“I really like doing it,” Emery said. “It was fun to train for it.”
Contact Jen Blanco at firstname.lastname@example.org.