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Alex third grader competes in national triathlon

Harrison Greathouse crosses the finish line at the Hy-Vee IronKids U.S. Triathlon Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Greathouse finished the race in 31st place in the 8-year-old division. (Contributed)

Lincoln Elementary School third grader Harrison Greathouse had the opportunity to race in a national triathlon over Labor Day weekend, and he was rewarded by placing 31st out of 78 competitors in the 8-year-old division.

Harrison Greathouse finished the Hy-Vee IronKids U.S. Triathlon Championships in Des Moines, Iowa with a time of 15:20. The race included a 50-yard swim, a two-mile bike ride and a 500-yard run. Harrison Greathouse finished the swim in 1:11, the bike in 8:05 and the run in 3:08.

He originally decided to participate in triathlons after watching his stepbrother Reece Clausen race during the summer of 2012.

“Through that process, Harry decided he wanted to do it,” father Jay Greathouse said.

Harrison Greathouse trained over the spring and summer and participated in five triathlons before the Hy-Vee IronKids Championship.

One of those triathlons qualified him for the championship. While competing in the race, participants had the opportunity to finish on a professionally decorated finish line with a carpeted finish and screaming fans.

“It was pretty cool,” Harrison Greathouse said.

The finish line was unique for spectators as well.

“It could have been professionals coming down the shoot instead of kids,” Jay Greathouse said.

Harrison had an extended cheering section there, including his sister Bella, father and mother Kristi Greathouse.

“This has really been his niche to do this,” Kristi Greathouse said. “This was just his perfect fit.”

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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