Triathletes In Training

Triathletes in training
Athletes conquer intramurals

By Emily Thompson,
Staff Writer

“I was thinking, when the hell is this gonna be over,” Matthew Baran, South Lyon sophomore. “I almost threw up. There was a point where I almost stopped, but I kept thinking, I am going to finish this,” Katherine Svoke, Farmington Hills junior. “I felt extremely exhausted,” Joshua Austin, Grand Rapids junior.

The above comments are student thoughts about the recent intramural triathalon that took place on campus September 12. A handful of students competed in the triathlon which consisted of a 1500 yard (60 lengths of the pool) swim in the Dean Aquatic Center pool, a five kilometer run, and a two mile canoe on the Kalamazoo River. Keith Havens, Dean Aquatic Center director and swim coach, and Scott Dillery, assistant professor of mathematics, also participated.

Some students competed in order to prepare for the annual Outdoorsman Triathlon near Nantahala, N.C. which is set for September 25-26. According to Havens, the intramural triathlon, “helps people who’ve never done the Outdoorsman Triathlon get a vague idea of what they’ll be putting their bodies through.” “If you can’t do the intramural one, you’ll definitely never make it through the Outdoorsman,” Havens said.

The Outdoorsman Triathlon consists of a one mile open water swim, a four mile run (“one mile running, more like crawling, straight up,” said Baran), and an eight mile canoe. “The canoe is one half white water and one half flat water,” said Havens. Svoke had planned on competing in the Outdoorsman, but was recently injured. “I’d been training hard, and I’m disappointed. I’ve been wanting to go for two years and finally had the chance, but now I can’t,” she said.

Reflecting on the intramural triathlon, which she had originally done to prepare for the Outdoorsman, Svoke said, “I couldn’t be disappointed. I’ve never done it before. Really, all I wanted to do was just see what it was like.” “Heck, I finished.”

Baran might not, in so many words, be excited for the Outdoorsman. “I’d rather have a root canal,” he said. But he competed last year, and he’ll be returning for another go. “It was tough, but I enjoyed it. I like the challenge.” Next weekend, Havens and a group of students and alumni will be swimming, running, and canoeing their way through the oldest continuous triathalon in the country. “It’s not a pushover,” said Havens. “The competition will be strong.”