Excitement is running high for the inaugural season of the Triathlon Club here at the Colorado School of Mines. Tess Weathers, a graduate student in hydrology, formed the club earlier this year and expressed her joy to have companions to train and compete with. But Weathers’ primary goal is to share the feeling of crossing the finish line with the Mines campus. “[In triathlons], sometimes you question why you are out there, but once you cross the finish line, it’s so exciting to say ‘Oh my gosh, I did it!'” Weathers’ athletic career began three years ago in college at the University of California Davis. Since then, she has competed in triathlons across the nation and enjoys bringing new athletes to the sport.
The club team’s competitions are classified as either sprint or Olympic distances. A sprint triathlon consists of a 400 to 800 meter swim, a 12 to 15 mile bike ride, and a five kilometer run. Olympic distance triathlons are double the distance of a sprint triathlon in every category. According to Weathers, it would be “a huge success” to send the team to compete in five races during the school year.
Distance events can be relatively strenuous, but the triathlon club is not strictly reserved for elite athletes. Any student with a desire to learn about triathlons or to train with the club are welcome to join, says Weathers. There is a wide range of skill levels throughout the club. Some members are veteran distance athletes, while some have no swimming experience, and several are between the two extremes. Weekly team workouts are e-mailed to team members and it is up to the individual to determine the amount of time the training will take during the week. Also, team members are encouraged to post their own workouts via e-mail. Weathers strongly supports members training as a team to help motivate and push their teammates. According to team photographer Abby Smeltzer, “Teamwork makes dreams work.”
Training is the key to success as the season begins and the club competes with nearby colleges. Dedicated members can help the Mines team compete with reigning collegiate champions, CU Boulder.