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Triathlon set for Sunday

Profile image for By Patrick Hayslip / Staff Writer
By Patrick Hayslip / Staff Writer

For the seventh year, TWU’s soccer team will host the Pioneer Power Sprint Triathlon and 5-kilometer run.

The event, which will start at 6:45 a.m. Sunday, will feature a few twists to the swim, bike and run format.

“It’s really hard to believe it’s been seven years,” TWU athletic director Chalese Connors said. “There’s a lot of work that goes into it, but once the swimmers hit the water in the morning, it runs itself. They are a lot of fun, and every time we get reviews back from friends and family, they have a blast. It has become so successful.”

The sprint triathlon will start and end at TWU, with a 300-meter swim, a 16.1-mile bicycle ride and a 3.1-mile run to the finish.

This year will feature a team competition, and there will be male, female and coed divisions. Each member will compete in all three segments of the triathlon, and their times will be added together to determine the team time.

“We added three categories,” Connors said. “Men may be better bikers; women may be better racers. It’s a great add to the dynamic. This is an opportunity for them to compete against different groups of people. It’s a great new wrinkle to it. This way, if you’re bad at swimming, you have a team that you can rely on.”

A 5K was added to appeal to a broader audience of athletes, to go along with triathletes who may be using the sprint format as preparation for more grueling triathlons.

“We were trying to see how to appeal to more TWU athletes,” Connors said. “You can be a walker, a runner or a jogger and you’ll have fun. We added the 5K, and the TWU faculty, staff and students have come out. We have over 100 people this year.

“To be able to go through the beautiful course, it’s going to be great, especially with all this rain.”

The triathlon benefits the TWU soccer team. There will be a post-race party with live music, free drinks and pancakes to replenish athletes’ energy.