10 year old Southie Spitfire Saoirse Callanan takes on the Boston Triathlon
She’s only 10 years old and she is set to compete in her SECOND Splash and Dash at the 2017 Columbia Threadneedle Investments Boston Triathlon.
CIS: Where do you go to school and how did you get involved in the triathlon?
SC: I will be in the 6th grade this year at the Perry School and my mum made me do it last year! While this is true, I actually also wanted to try it out and do something that I hadn’t done before.
CIS: How long have you been swimming?
SC: I started swimming lessons when I was 3 years old, and I have been going strong. I learned to swim at the BAC in South Boston with Matt Alesia.
CIS: Are you on a swim team?
SC: Yes I am a member of a USA swim team that trains both at UMass and at the Roxbury YMCA.
CIS: Do you have a favorite stroke?
SC: I like them all but if I had to pick a favorite it would be the Breast Stroke.
CIS: What is your favorite training snack?
SC: It’s always important to have a lot of water while training, both before and after. I usually start with a banana about 30 minutes before I get in the water and I really like having some cold milk and a Larabar afterwards. I train at 5am three mornings a week so on those days I usually have pancakes made with extra eggs for breakfast.
(Editorial note – writer is significantly shamed by a 10 year old who manages to get up 3 days a week at 5 am to VOLUNTARILY workout??)
CIS: What do you like about swimming?
SC: I LOVE swimming. I always have. My mum says as a baby I used to cry when she took me out of the water. Although I don’t cry now, I still love being in the water. I feel happy and free in the water and I know I can continuously work on improving my strokes so I am kind of my own competition. Plus my coach Richard Mojica is awesome and very supportive.
CIS: Have you done other kids triathlons or multi-sport events?
SC: I haven’t done any triathlons, only last year’s event at Carson Beach.
CIS: So why do it again this year?
SC: Now that I know what to expect, I want to try it again and see if I can do better. Also I know it’s going to be bigger and better this year. Also I’m hoping for no rain this year!
CIS: What would you want other kids to know about the doing an Aquathon?
SC: It’s important to try new things. To try and get out of your comfort zone. My comfort zone is swimming, karate and Judo. For others it maybe hockey, running, soccer or dance. So I was a little scared to try something that I wasn’t good at ( I don’t really like to run ) and hadn’t practiced for. But I was so surprised. Being part of an Aquathon is fun, you may even get to meet new friends. It’s a great way to start and possibly get more involved in doing more Triathlons as we get older. So just have fun and enjoy it!!!
I had to reach out to Saoirse’s mum to find out what her magic secret is for raising such a positive and open young lady:
CIS: Niamh, what is your secret??
NC: Well I always tell Saoirse to do something that will make herself proud , get up, show up and put the work in. She knows that commitment is staying loyal to something she says she would do long after the mood she said it in has left her. And I always tell her it’s never too late to start over if you weren’t happy with today try something new tomorrow , don’t ever stay stuck!
This CIS writer mom has been schooled…..
CIS: Lastly, any insider tips for kids who will be participating for the first time?
SC: Bring your smile. Have a good breakfast and stay hydrated. Also have your belongings organized! After the swim things move very quickly, you have to get out of the water and get your sneakers on and, if you want shorts and a top. It can get a little bit overwhelming with so many kids so be sure you know where your stuff is.
Even though it rained the whole race last year it was still fun. I’m really looking forward to seeing some of my friends get involved in something this local. It’s basically in our backyard. So let’s get together and make it work. It’s a great opportunity for Southie and surrounding kids.
The 9th Annual Columbia Threadneedle Investments Boston Triathlon in South Boston is the only USAT-sanctioned Triathlon in Boston. It features both an Olympic and Sprint distance race and is expected to draw more than 1500 participants from all across the country. The event takes place July 29-30, 2017 at Carson Beach in South Boston.