When Alix Kohrs was 5 years old, she asked her mom if she could join some kids swimming in a pool. Nothing unusual there, except these kids weren’t just splashing around in the water. They were part of a swim team, training for competition.

 

          Her eagerness for sports at such an early age told mom Beverly Kohrs what’s still true today: The girl loves to compete.

 

          When she was 7, Beverly entered Alix in an IronKids triathlon: a 100-yard swim, a 3-mile bike race and a 1-mile run.

 

          “She won first place for her age group and was pretty much hooked from there,” Beverly says.

 

          Today, at a ripe old age of 11, Alix competes in several triathlons a year in Texas and around the country.

 

          Younger sister Andie, 8, also is a triathlete. She started running, biking and swimming her way to the finish line when she was 7.

 

          The mound of medals both girls have show they’re pretty darned good at it. Often, both place in the top five for their age groups, competing against kids from throughout the country.

 

          Closer to home, Alix and Andie are members of local swim and soccer teams, each of which requires multiple practices a week. They play musical instruments, which also require multiple practices a week. And they’re Girl Scouts.

 

          But don’t think they’re a couple of sad little kids whose overbearing parents drive them to excel.

 

          Beverly says while some parents can get “really obnoxious” about it, she and husband Aryl don’t push the girls to do anything. They just want them to be healthy and have fun.

 

           “Their dad and I just give them the opportunity and don’t really worry about winning,” she says. “We don’t want to push who got first, among them or anybody else.”

 

          But the girls want to win.

 

“I’m always a little nervous and excited before a race,” Andie says. “You set a goal for each one, how you want to do. And you get frustrated if you don’t get what you wanted.”

 

          Mom does what she can to help. She makes sure Alix has her lucky shirt and braids their hair in French braids before the race.

 

“It looks pretty, and you can get your helmet over it easy,” Alix says, adding that it’s important to be fast in the transition between courses.

 

          With two sisters competing in the same sport, it’s difficult to avoid at least a bit of sibling rivalry.

 

“There’s probably a little bit of that,” Beverly says. “Sometimes they don’t always both place, so it makes the other a little cranky. It keeps them on their toes a little bit.”

 

          And when they don’t win, the girls say mom always has an encouraging word for them.

 

“She’ll say, ‘I’m proud of you; I’m glad you tried hard; you did your best,’ things like that,” Andie says.        

 

           The girls have become so good at triathlons for kids, they’ve recently begun competing in adult races to add to the excitement.

 

          “They like the adult ones,” Beverly says. “They’re more of a challenge, and the whole thing lasts a bit longer. So we’re gonna try to find more adult ones they can compete in, but many of them have minimum ages.”

 

          The races have become family events for the Kohrs. Mom, dad and brother Zane are always there to cheer them on, and out-of-town races turn into family trips.

 

          And speaking of family, 5-year-old Zane is itching to be the third Kohrs family triathlete.

 

          “He thinks it’s cool that his sisters do it,” Beverly says. “He talks about it all the time, saying ‘I want to do a triathlon.’ But you have to be 7.”

 

          Until then, he makes due with duathlons, which are running and biking races. He was 4 when he competed in his first, held at the Ballpark in Arlington .

 

          “He just loved it,” she says. “He was one of the only ones without training wheels. He was diggin’ on that.”

 

          Just what makes the Kohrs kids such eager athletes? All three say they like being healthy, which the girls say they learned the importance of at their school, Preston Hollow Elementary.

 

          But above all, she says, they just think it’s fun.

 

“We’ve always gone out and done stuff with them, play games, ride bikes, that kind of thing. They just really like the enthusiasm of being at a sporting event.

 

          “Fitness definitely is important to them, and to us,” Beverly says.

 


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