The Larsen brothers

Athletic family to honour late dad

Lauren Larsen’s three sons keep her busy with football, soccer and lacrosse year round. And it doesn’t stop there. The boys have also been participating in triathlons since they were either five or six years-old.

Lauren Larsen’s three sons keep her busy with football, soccer and lacrosse year round.

And it doesn’t stop there.

The boys have also been participating in triathlons since they were either five or six years-old.

All three will be participating in the 12th annual Woody’s Triathlon at the Michener Centre in Red Deer on June 23 and 24.

“I like the challenge,” said Evan, 10. “And I like to be a bit competitive too.”

For brother Peter, 12, it’s an adrenaline rush and just something “fun” to do.

Evan and Peter will be taking part in the Kids of Steel component to Woody’s, designated for children from five to 15.

Big brother Matt, 15, will be completing in the Junior Sprint race for the first time, which features a 750-metre swim, a 20-kilometre bike ride and a 5-kilomtre run.

This year’s race will be different for the boys as it’s the first they’ll do without their father cheering them on.

Stacy Larsen, a well known Red Deer chiropractor, was also a passionate athlete.

He discovered the triathlon in 2002 and the boys would watch him compete as they grew up.

Stacy competed in a number of races, including Woody’s, the Innisfail Triathlon and the World Masters Triathlon in Edmonton in 2005.

Last October, after years of battling cancer, Stacy passed away.

“This year, the triathlon will be in honour of my dad,” said Evan.

“Stacy’s number one passion was football but he loved triathlon, too. He was never really good at it . . . He couldn’t swim a leg,” laughed Lauren.

The Woody’s weekend isn’t about winning for the Larsens, said Lauren.

It’s about commitment, pushing through, being active for a healthy lifestyle and having fun.

“They make it so fun for the younger kids — like you can wear water wings for the swimming part, stuff like that.”

It’s also a good investment in what is really a “life long sport,” she said.

“Anybody can go out and try a triathlon.”

“I just don’t like the swimming part,” said Peter, echoed in agreement by his brothers.

Weather too can be a downfall, say the boys.

One year Matt had to wear goggles to bike due to an onslaught of pouring rain.

The boys say they don’t have time to train much as they’re in so many other sports but Peter is a part of the new Red Deer Triathlon Club and tries to make their practices twice a week.

“My kids are not exactly prime examples of triathletes because they really do every sport . . . but it’s shown they are very versatile,” said Lauren.

“Stacy always said, showing up is half the sport.”

The three boys nod.

“That’s the truth,” said Evan.

rfrancoeur@bprda.wpengine.com

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