New opportunity to compete as a triathlete

by Christina Spencer

Whitworth’s first triathlon is approaching. Students, faculty and staff can compete in the three-event competition consisting of a 500-meter swim, a 10-kilometer bike ride, and a 5K run on April 7.
The triathlon was dreamed up by junior Aaron Kilfoyle while he was lifeguarding at the Whitworth pool.

After he shared the idea with Todd Sandberg, his adviser and director of Scotford Fitness Center, it picked up steam. Sandberg described Kilfoyle as energetic and driven, and said he is all for an event in which a student is willing to put in the time and effort.

“Anything that engages the community and encourages fitness excites me,” Sandberg said.

The triathlon is sponsored by Fleet Feet Sports, which will provide the bibs which will be worn by participants. Kilfoyle said the vision of the triathlon is to provide an opportunity for students to compete in an event that isn’t the typical intramural game or athletic event.

The Whitworth Triathlon is also a fundraiser for the Athletic Training Club. The club does academic fundraising for events such as traveling to away football games or going to conferences.

The proceeds of the triathlon will also help support the May Term trip to Japan, on which athletic training majors will learn about the Eastern philosophy of medicine.

Kilfoyle said he hopes the Whitworth Triathlon will become an annual event which can provide much-needed funds for athletic training majors as well as a cheap and easy way for students to bolster their health and wellness.

The event is not just for advanced athletes; amateurs are welcome to participate as well. The competition will be divided into four groups: beginner, intermediate, advanced and team. So, if you are a great swimmer, but running isn’t your strength, consider forming a team. Or you can try it out all on your own.

Kilfoyle said a frequent misunderstanding he has encountered is that triathlons are only for the athletes with previous experience.

“The biggest hurdle we have to overcome is getting people to believe that they can do it,” Kilfoyle said.

Junior Victoria Reardon has never competed in a triathlon, but said she is excited for the opportunity to do so at Whitworth. Kilfoyle taught her how to swim last fall and since then she has made a goal to do some triathlons this summer. As a beginner, the Whitworth Triathlon will be a comfortable way to try it out.

“I like this event because it gets people moving outdoors — besides intramurals — and gets people interacting with other students outside of the classroom,” Reardon said.

How it works

The triathlon is on the Whitworth campus and will begin in the pool where participants will estimate their time for a 500-meter swim (10 laps). They will be placed in a group of people on a similar level.

After the swimming portion, participants will come straight out of the doors of the pool to the “exchange area” where they will immediately begin a 10K bike ride, which will be eight laps around campus.

After that is the running portion. This course consists of two laps around the Tennis Bubble, into the Back 40, up past Pirate’s Cove and the dorms, onto North College Road, and then through Lied Garden.

The end of the race will be a funnel finish where participants will run in single file. Prizes will be awarded to the winners of each group.

The deadline for team registration and ordering a T-shirt is March 20. The cost is $15 per team. Registration for solo competitors is open up until the triathlon. Volunteers are also needed to help run the event.

Contact Christina Spencer at cspencer15@my.whitworth.edu

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