Alabama Triathlete Club tests members physically and mentallyBy Matthew Wilson | 09/30/2013 11:00pm
The Alabama Triathlete Club, a club sport at the University, welcomes athletes of all levels of expertise to push themselves physically and create new relationships within the club itself.
Vice President Taylor Wood, a junior majoring in economics, and President Ingram Crosson, a senior majoring in Spanish, both said the triathlete club is a place of helping, learning and training.
“We accept anyone from complete beginners to people who have competed in triathlons and won races. It is a pretty diverse team,” Wood said.
“We provide one-on-one assistance on how to compete,” Crosson said. “When you go to a race you don’t just bike, swim and run. You have to set up transition zones. There are multiple other aspects in running a triathlon other than the athletic part.”
John Bruhn, a graduate student majoring in civil engineering, was a beginner to triathlons when he joined the triathlete club his freshman year. He reflected on how he was tested both physically and mentally.
“I swam to the other end of the pool and I was gasping for air, but for some reason, I stuck with it,” Bruhn said. “Seven years, later I am still here. It’s just like anything – if you put some time into it, train and are dedicated, when it comes to race day, it won’t be that bad.”
Bruhn, along with Katie June, a junior majoring in exercise and sport science, was part of the 18-person team that recently competed in the Rocketman Triathlon. After swimming against the current of the river and biking through the August heat, the triathlete club won first place overall.
“There was a lot of rain recently, and the race was in the river. There was, actually, somewhat of a current. That made for a very tough swim,” Bruhn said. “We had a really strong showing of members, probably 18 members.”
Treading in second place during the swim, June overtook the competition during the cycling portion of the triathlon to take first place for the collegiate women with a time of 2 hours, 19 minutes, 38 seconds.
“I was pretty excited because all of the collegiate races are worth points for going to nationals,” June said about her win.
The triathlete club will compete at Lake Lanier in Buford, Ga., on Sept. 29. This triathlon will be a learning experience for the new members joining the club. June and the other Rocketman triathlon-winning athletes are busy training for the upcoming Southeastern Conference Championships on Oct. 13.
“I do my longer workouts on the weekend. Yesterday morning, I did a three-hour bike ride and a seven-mile run,” June said.
Wood said being a member of the club has had a positive aspect on her collegiate experience.
“It’s been a really great way to meet people,” Wood said. “There is no better way to bond with someone than over a 15-mile run.”