More than 500 athletes participate in the 16th annual Tropical Triathlon in Lake Worth

Hundreds swam, biked, and ran in Lake Worth's  16 th annual Tropical Triathlon Sunday morning.

This was the first adult race for 11 year old, Emma Cavendish. Her mother, Rebecca Cavendish, encouraged her daughter to complete the race.

"It's just the first time that she's done the adult one and been racing just against adults so I know she can do it and she can finish, but I just want her to have fun and feel like she did well," said Rebecca.

The Independence Middle School student has been swimming, running, and biking most of her life.

She's won the Iron Kids Triathlon twice.

Emma said, "I've been doing lots of kids races and I've been to a few of the kids national championships and I've always wanted to try an adult race."

Bright and early, more than 500 participants swam in a quarter mile ocean race, then hit the road for a 13 mile bike ride, which concluded with a 3.1 mile run over the bridge.

Cramping and a little sore, Rebecca kept several eyes on her daughter as she pushed through and completed the race in less than an hour and a half.

"It's hard in a triathlon to watch, it's not very spectator friendly, so it's good if you can have a couple of people out on the course, letting you know what's happening," said Rebecca.

The races coordinator, Dr. Alex Keith said he's pleased with the growth of the competition over the last 16 years and plans to expand it next year by adding more options.

Keith said, "We want to have an ocean mile swim for people who just want to swim and we're going to start a different kind of relay, where we have team relays and we're going to invite the high schools to get involved."

In the future, Keith said he hopes to eventually have multiple events during the entire weekend for the next race.

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