Triathlon Club Members Head to Nationals
March 31, 2014
The USA Triathlon organization reports participation is at an all-time high with unprecedented growth in the past decade. Bradley University is also seeing an increased interest in the sport. The Bradley Triathlon Club has been in existence for three years but club President Christopher Douglas says it just became active last year. “We now have thirteen members, seven of them are new since summer. So far we have competed in seven triathlons as a club and volunteered at four different races as well as hosted our own race, the Bradley Indoor Triathlon.”
The club has had great success with seven members qualifying for Collegiate National Championship in Tempe, Arizona on April 4-5. Three club members will be competing in two different race formats, including a draft-legal sprint distance triathlon and an Olympic-distance non-drafting triathlon. Douglas has even qualified to race at the 2014 International Triathlon Union Short Course (Olympic) World Championship in Edmonton, Alberta Canada in August as a member of Team USA.
Bradley’s Triathlon Club aims to promote interest in healthy activity, both physically and mentally. Douglas says although it is an individual sport, members race and run as a community. “You can look at a triathlon as an individual challenge where you set goals for yourself and each race you try to get a better time. Or you can look at it as a competition and race to beat others. No matter how you look at it, triathlon is more than just a sport, it’s a lifestyle.”
The Bradley Triathlon Club is not affiliated with other running clubs or teams on campus although members do cross over. It’s governed by USA Triathlon. “We are part of the Mid-East Collegiate Triathlon Conference which includes teams from IL, KY, IN, OH and MI” according to Douglas.
The surge in interest seems to be linked to the 2000 Olympics when the triathlon first appeared in the international games. In 1999 there were nearly 130,000 members in the USA Triathlon organization whereas in 2012 there were more than 550,000 members.