Puppies And Guard Dogs Compete

Yu Shing Ting
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Friday - March 02, 2011
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Kai and John Flanagan

Life father, like daughter. Five-year-old Kai Flanagan may not swim or run as fast as her dad, John, but she’s off to a good start.

On March 5, she’ll be participating in the Puppy Dog Biathlon at Camp Mokuleia, her first multi-sport competition.

But John, a swim coach at Kamehameha Swim Club, will be doing more than just cheering that day. He’s entered in the accompanying Guard Dog Triathlon, his debut race of the 2011 triathlon season.

“We want to get as many kids excited about making healthy choices, and the Puppy Dog Biathlon serves as a venue for the whole family to be involved,” says Flanagan’s wife Rae Sojot, who also works as the director of marketing for North Shore Events Team which is putting on this event. “We both used to compete, and back then it was about being fast, now that we’re parents, it’s just about being fit.”

Sojot, who also has a 2-year-old daughter, Kona, says Kai was able to swim on her own by the time she was 3. She also likes to run, bike, play tennis, and takes capoeira and ballet classes.

“For us, that’s the most important thing, instilling in them that competing can be fun while making it a priority to stay healthy,” says Sojot.

In addition to an active lifestyle, the Flanagans also promote healthy eating.

“We’re at Aloha Salads two to three times a week,” says Flanagan about their children’s diet. “They eat very well. We try to open them to a lot of different foods. They like fruits and vegetables. Rae was really good at pushing that early.”

The Guard Dog Triathlon features a 400-yard swim, 10-mile bike and 3-mile run in and around Camp Mokuleia.

The keiki biathlon starts immediately after the triathlon and features a swim of distances ranging from 50 to 200 meters and a run of 100 to 400 meters.

For Kai, it’ll be a 50-meter swim (the length of an Olympic-size pool), and a 100-meter run.

“I think I’m more excited for Kai than I am for my race,” adds Flanagan, who plans to do two half-Ironmans in April and a full Ironman in May. “I just want it to be fun for her.”

For more information on the Guard Dog Triathlon and/or the Puppy Dog Biathlon, visit hawaiiswim.com or call 372-8885.

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