Lifeguards trained at De Anza College have volunteered at the Silicon Valley Kids Triathlon since 2004.
June 10, 2012 there were over a thousand kids, ages 15 to four (or occasionally even three).
Every ten minutes another ‘wave’ (small group start) of swimmers climbed in the pool, listened to the announcer and crowd count down the five, four, three, two, one, and completed their swim.
And every ten minutes a new group of very loudly cheering parents/relatives/friends filled the bleachers.
(The announcers gave regular shout-outs to the ‘De Anza lifeguards’ to let the crowds know who was volunteering.)
In some cases the lifeguards enter the water to swim with kids who look like they are on the verge of needing help, or to assist a struggling swimmer.
In this picture we see a young man with a faulty facemask who could not continue swimming and grabbed a lane line:
The oldest athletes (15 – 11) swam 200 yards, biked 6 miles and ran 1-1/4 mile. Ages 9 – 10 swam 100 yards, biked 4 miles and ran 1/2 mile. Ages 7-8 also swam 100 yards, but only biked 2 miles and ran 1.2 mile.
Almost all the lifeguards and other De Anza volunteers were in the water for the entire swim of the
the four youngest ‘waves’ (small group starts) of swimmers (6 years old and under, who swam 25 yards, all the way across the width of the De Anza pool, then rode their bikes for one mile and ran 1/4 mile).
Lifeguards/escort swimmers for the race included:
American Red Cross Lifeguard, Lifeguard Instructor and Lifeguard Instructor Trainers Ken Mignosa and Mary Donahue.
American Red Cross Lifeguard and Lifeguard Instructors Alan Ahlstrand and Raul Alba.
American Red Cross Lifeguards Christina Bolanos, Eric Champlin, Kelly Darnall, Marco Estrada, Sierra Jansen, Salina Martinez, Howard Ho Wai Mok, Sara Newell, Jessica Perine, Victor Pettyplace, Sarah Than, Tuchih Tsai and Wendy Tsang.
American Red Cross Water Safety Instructors Mila Wojslaw De Lanerolle, Sherry Fong, Phung Nguyen, and Imelda Terrazas.
and these De Anza swim students: Kanishka De Lanerolle, Maritza Lew, Naeim Nastar, Leticia Samaniego and Lawrence Wong.
The race is a fundraiser for the Silicon Valley Children’s Fund.
Six 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.
See also: Tips for guarding open water swims
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 and swim instructor since 1987.