Tryathlons run in the family

Sarndra Arnott and son Finlay, 7, get some practice in before their next big event. Photo: Chris Callinan.

When Finlay Arnott lines up at Mount Maunganui’s Arataki Park to take part in the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon event this Sunday, one very special spectator will understand the feelings he’s going through – his mum Sarndra, who took part in the same event 25 years ago.

“I love that Finlay wants to take part in the same race I did at about his age. It’s such a neat idea, and I’m so looking forward to watching him. His eyes light up when he sees his dad and I cheering him on; and I love that he wants to continue to achieve and improve himself.”

The idea for Finlay to enter the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon this Sunday, December 18, came after the seven-year-old overheard his mum reminiscing about her own experience a few weeks ago.

“I wanted to do it when my mum told me about her doing it when she was little,” says Finlay. “We’ve just moved here from Scotland, and it’s much nicer here because it’s warmer, so I can go and practise outside more.

“This is my first triathlon, and I want to give it a go because I like being fit and sporty.”

Finlay’s excitement at taking part in the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is clear.

“I think I’m going to do better than Mum – I bet she was really slow, but I want to be fast!” says Finlay. “I like that Mum and Dad and Nana will all be there to watch me though, especially at the end. It’s nice when they cheer me on.”

Finlay has been enthusiastically training for the event with his mum and his dad, and is excited about taking part in such a big event. “I love training hard. I train on my bike with my sister, I run with my dad, and I swim with Mum so I can get stronger.”

While Finlay is loving the training, his sister Isla, at just five years old, can do no more than cheer her brother from the sidelines – for now. “Isla’s gutted she can’t take part – I’m sure we’ll see her at a triathlon as soon as she’s allowed!” laughs Sarndra.

“The fact that Finlay is learning there is reward in effort is just what we’re trying to achieve with the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon – teaching kids that just participating, and passing the finish line, brings them a reward that will encourage and inspire them,” says Sanitarium marketing manager Jessica Manihera.

“I wish I could recall more about how I felt on the day, but I’m absolutely sure it will all come flooding back when I see Finlay crossing the finish line,” says Sarndra, who says she just remembers wanting to catch up to the person in front of her – and the sun shining.

To register, visit: to sign up for the Tauranga/Mt Maunganui TRYathlon being held at Arataki Park, on December 18, 2016.