Gila Hank’s Youth Sprint Triathlon to continue Jim Brinkerhoff Varsity Scout Triathlon tradition

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Matalyah Bretz, then 15, of Mesa, grabs water at the start of the run portion of the 29th annual Jim Brinkerhoff Varsity Scout Triathlon held in April 2019. Bretz finished first overall for the female division and broke her own record with a time of 33:19. Gila Hank’s Youth Spirit Triathlon is continuing the Varsity Scout event, which hasn’t taken place the last two years due to the pandemic.

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THATCHER – Gila Hank’s Youth Sprint Triathlon is a Swim, Bike, Run event for participants between 11 and 17 years old that will take place at Eastern Arizona College on Saturday, April 9. Click here for more information or to sign up for the event.

The triathlon consists of a 75-yard swim, 6-mile bike, and 1.5-mile run. Participants can compete as an individual (do the whole thing yourself) or as part of a relay team (swimmer, cyclist, or runner) that they form prior to the triathlon. Leaders and adults are welcome to participate as individuals or relay teams. The goals of Gila Hank’s Sprint Triathlon are to safely finish the race, have fun, make friendships, and be part of something amazing.

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: A competitor rides through the bike portion of the 2019 Varsity Scout Triathlon.

Participants will receive an overall time at the finish. Participants will also receive a t-shirt, a one-of-a-kind triathlon medallion, a race packet, and the pride that goes along with accomplishing something amazing. Water and fruit will be provided at the finish to assist in recovery.

Gila Hank’s Youth Sprint Triathlon is supported by volunteers, sponsors, and the community. During Friday night’s registration, a dance will take place. For a nominal fee, overnight camping spaces will be available on-campus near EAC’s John Mickelson Stadium. (Camping fee waived for Large Group registrations of 10 or more) Vendors will be on-site when available.

Gila Hank’s Youth Sprint Triathlon strives to be an inclusive event with the ability to make accommodations for youth with physical or developmental disabilities. Those with diagnosed disabilities which can fairly and reasonably be addressed with accommodation should be encouraged to participate. Our goal is to help everyone make it to the finish line by allowing a measure of help. There will be an opportunity to explain and request accommodations in the registration process.


Friday, April 8

  • 5:30 p.m . – Triathlon check-in will begin at Eastern Arizona College’s Activities Center (rooms 118 and 119) in Thatcher, Arizona. Race packets and t-shirts will be distributed at check in.
  • 6 – 9 p.m. -A dance will be held for triathlon participants in the Main Dining Room of the EAC Activities Center.

Saturday, April 9

  • Prior to the triathlon start, at assigned times, participants will arrive at the information booth area for body marking, bike inspection, timing chip pick up, and safety briefing.
  • 7 a.m. – Triathlon will begin at staging area west of swimming pool near tennis courts.

Triathlon Overview

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Attendees line up to start the 2019 event.
  • After a 75-yard pool swim, swimmers will transition to the east South Campus parking lot near EAC’s Guitteau Gymnasium to the bike staging area.
  • Bikers will head north on College Avenue on a predetermined route for 6 miles, finishing on College Avenue on the west side of South Campus near the north parking lot rack bikes and transition to run staging area.
  • Runners will leave west out of the parking lot, then north on Stadium Avenue, following a predetermined route for approximately 1.5 miles, eventually winding through campus and ending at the finish line at EAC’s Clock Tower on Middle Campus.
  • Participation medallions will be given to participants as they complete the triathlon.
  • A recovery station will be near the finish line area for triathletes.
  • Timing of participants will be done electronically with time strips at each staging area start/finish.


Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: This Sprint Triathlon is for attendees of all abilities.

Parking will be available at the following locations:

  • North Campus at Mark Allen parking lot off Stadium Ave.
  • Parking lot east of EAC’s Activities Center (dirt lot).
  • Parking lot west of EAC’s Student Services Building.
  • Parking lots east of the EAC’s Clock Tower.
  • EAC’s John Mickelson Stadium parking lot.
  • On Saturday, parking along Railroad Drive between Stadium Ave. and College Ave. will be available.
  • Parking is not available in the lots west of EAC’s South Campus buildings /Tennis Courts.


  • Camping areas will be available on EAC’s South Campus at John Mickelson Stadium and adjacent fields for a nominal fee. Porta-Jons will be available at field and other locations on race route.
    (Camping fee waived for Large Group registrations of 10 or more)