lifeguards at the 2011 Silicon Valley Kids Triathlon

Lifeguards trained at De Anza College volunteered at the 2011 Silicon Valley Kids Triathlon, as they have done since 2004.

Many were newly trained, from the current lifeguard training class. I received an email from one of them (who is working on becoming an EMT) shortly after the race:

“Hey Mary!,

Todays Kid’s Triathlon was amazing!

We did amazing work and it was an adrenaline rush all the way through.

Thank you for preparing us so well. Everybody was ready to rescue and we all knew what we were doing and looked good while at it.

Thanks again Mary!”


svkt 2011 just before a wave start: volunteers and lifeguards on deck talk to swimmers in water just before the start of one of the races at a kids triathlon svkt 2011 wave start: athletes just starting to swim

lifeguards and volunteers watch swimmers svkt 2011: lifeguards and volunteers watch swimmers, one lifeguard is wrapped in a towel after having just been in the water with a swimmer

1,050+ kids ages 15 to about 3 swam in 22 waves (groups) starting at 8 a.m. The oldest swam 200 yards, most swam 100 yards and the youngest swam 25 yards (across the width of the De Anza olympic sized pool).

Araceli and Pam at Kids tri: two lifeguards on duty swimmers waiting for the next wave SVKT 2011: swimmers waiting for the next wave Sierra Janssen at Kids tri: lifeguard puts the end of her rescue tube in the water to protect a child

Most of the triathletes finished their swim as they had planned,

some with great strokes and flip turns, some with a modified doggie paddle:

Silicon Valley Kids Triathlon 2011 start: one wave of swimmers in the pool, volunteers at pool edge and the next wave of swimmers waiting in the bleachers

Michael Arenas guarding triathlon: lifeguard at end of olympic sized pool during triathlon

lifeguard stations svkt 2011:

Lifeguards entered the water if a swimmer was in difficulty or began to look too tired to finish, had their kickboard pop out of their hands, or waved that they wanted help. Some triathletes simply held onto the lifeguard’s rescue tube and finished their distance kicking with the guard swimming alongside:

Raul Alba assisting swimmer: triathlon lifeguard assists a swimmer

victor pettyplace assists swimmer: swimmer at pool edge as lifeguard swims up to assist him

Laura Stark assisting swimmer: triathlon lifeguard assists swimmer

Sierra Anne Janssen and Jonathan Mai assiting triathletes: two distressed swimmers assisted in the water by triathlon lifeguards

Jerome Ward assisting a swimmer: triathlon lifeguard swimming with a swimmer

Most of the lifeguards get in the water and swim with the last four waves of swimmers, ages six and under.

youngest triathletes with lifeguards in the water: youngest triathletes with lifeguards in the water6 and under group SVKT 2011: triathletes aged six and under with lifeguards in the water just before their swim

Christina Bolanos keeping an eye on a triathlete: triathlon lifeguard follows a tired swimmer

De Anza trained swim volunteers included:

Red Cross lifeguards: Raul Alba, Michael Arenas, (USMC Sargent) Christina Bolanos, Rebecca Bradley, Sierra Janssen, Pamela Holister, Jonathan Mai, Victor Pettyplace, Araceli Sanchez, April Sanchez, Laura Stark and Jerome Ward.

Red Cross lifeguards and lifeguard instructors: Alan Ahlstrand, Mary Donahue, Ken Mignosa and Quang Tran (who also served as an EMT).

Swimmer escorts: (some currently enrolled in the PE 28A lifeguard training class or previous graduates) Marco Estrada, Anna Maria Kozlowska, Hector Salas, Mouzhan Yousefi and Mila Wojslaw De Lanerolle.

Kanishka De Lanerolle served with the security team, asking a thousand children to “walk” or “slow down” as they climbed the stairs from the pool deck heading for their bikes.


The race is a fundraiser for the Silicon Valley Children’s Fund.

Red Cross official lifeguarding patch:

Two of the volunteers from the De Anza student body originally were adults afraid of the water who entered the De Anza College swim class for adult non-swimmers: Novice swimming.


All photos on this page are by Alan Ahlstrand, Magna Cum Laude graduate of De Anza College and volunteer of record with the college as a lifeguard instructor since 1987.