Triathlon club goes the distance for first event

Triathlon club goes the distance for first event

2,500 yards of swimming, 30 miles of biking and 10 miles of running. For the average person, this could be a daunting task. For members of the TCU triathlon club, it’s just an average week.

After less than two months of training as a group, members of the triathlon club, Tri Frogs, are preparing to compete in the club’s first triathlon event, the Monster Triathlon, in Keller on Sunday. The group, which is in its first semester as an official club, is open to students, faculty and staff, said Tri Frog member Jason Eagar, associate director of the TCU Leadership Center.

Triathlons are multi-sport races that consist of swimming, biking and running and are typically one of four distances: sprint, intermediate, long course and ultra distance. Sprint triathlons are usually 750 meters of swimming, 20 kilometers of biking, followed by five kilometers of running while ultra distance triathlons are significantly longer (2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and 26.2 miles of running), according to usatriathlon.org.

Eagar formed a training group in the spring while training for his first triathlon, which was scheduled for September prior to its cancellation. After placing an ad in TCU Announce, Eagar was contacted by about two dozen people, he said.

Now, with about 50 members, Tri Frogs is hoping to attract the attention of people who have considered participating in a triathlon in the past, but maybe didn’t have the support they needed to make their consideration a reality, said Carlo Capua, the running coordinator for the group.

“A lot of people, they have it on their radar,” Capua said. “It just seems like something that’s insurmountable. We make it real, we break it down into little bitty pieces and little bitty steps, and with baby steps … you can accomplish anything.”

Eagar said the club was a melting pot of experience. The group consists of members of varying experience and beginners are encouraged to join, he said.

Triathlons can be intimidating for first-time competitors, but with the training and support of club members, it’s a doable task, Capua said.

“(The club is) very low-key, very low-pressure,” he said. “We’re all just trying to become fitter and healthier and encourage each other to get to that starting line.”

Eric Olson, a senior movement science major, started triathlon competitions in summer 2008. The club allows members to train with people who have similar goals, which helps push beginners, he said.

Tri Frog training consists of about three swimming workouts, three biking workouts and three running workouts each week for individual members, Capua said. There are one or two group workouts in each sport throughout the week as well.

Although the club doesn’t have an official coach, there are coordinators for each of the three sports, Eagar said. The club also relies on non-member triathlon enthusiasts and experienced members for guidance.

If the club generates enough interest, it could become a registered USA Triathlon club in spring 2010, said Tri Frogs president Wendy Farrens, an education administration graduate student. USAT membership would allow the club to compete in collegiate races as a team, she said.

Those who are interested in the club are invited to watch or participate in training sessions, Capua said. People interested in Tri Frogs should contact Farrens via e-mail at [email protected]


Monster Triathlon

When: Sunday 7:30 a.m.

Where: Keller Natatorium in Keller