Triathlon club ready for fall season


Photo: Rebekka Brown/Iowa State Daily

Kris Spoth will be leaving for Kona, Hawaii, on Wednesday morning to participate in the 2011 Ironman World Championship this Saturday.

Mark Specht

There is excitement among ISU Triathlon Club members as they begin a year that is guaranteed, by schedule alone, to be different from past years.

“It’s a very exciting year; I’m very much looking forward to this year,” said Kristopher Spoth, club president and senior in electrical engineering.

Spoth, who is in his fifth year with Triathlon Club, said the club typically competes in one or two events in addition to the Collegiate National Championship each year. But this year, they will have more races to compete in.

“This year [the Midwest Collegiate Conference] has started a new thing where our conference has a series of races through the summer and early fall,” Spoth said. “This year I think we’re planning about four or five trips to races.”

The club, nicknamed the “Triclones,” currently has approximately 30 student members. Because the Triclones are a club, members are not required to attend practices, which take place throughout the week.

“We typically set up several practice times for each sport — swimming, running and biking — a week, and we try to get multiple times in so it works with people’s schedules,” Spoth said.

In conference races, only the top four male and female finishers from the school are scored, but there is no limit to the number of entries the team can have.

The Triclones are planning to put on three fundraising races this year: the CyMan sprint triathlon in the fall, the InCYdeman indoor triathlon in late January or early February, and the Doughnut Run 5K in early April.

The club is open to any student who wants to join, although Spoth does admit that the sport of triathlon can be expensive for those who are interested in competing. Spoth said the club is supportive of those who want to get involved.

“I’ve got to admit it’s not for everybody, but we try to accommodate people of all abilities,” Spoth said. “We understand that some people are just there to stay fit. Some people are interested in maybe becoming elite athletes.”

The Triclones have resources for those who may shy away from joining because of the financial cost.

“There are a lot of people who wouldn’t be able to do [triathlon] because they couldn’t afford a bike,” said Seth Long, senior in kinesiology and health. “We have club bikes that aren’t top of the line; they’re not high-end, but they’ll get you from point A to B on the course, and we let you train on them.”

Long said the club also provides wet suits for its members as well as transportation to conference meets. Team members also have access to a 25 percent discount at Bike World as part of the store’s sponsorship of the team.

Kyle Weis, senior in chemical engineering, said the Triclones do take time off the sport every month for a nontriathlon-related social events.

“We’ve done bowling trips; there is talk about doing paintball,” Weis said. “There is just all sorts of stuff.”

Last Saturday, Aug. 25, the Triclones competed in the Maple Grove Triathlon, where they took the top male and female spots. Their next race, the Hy-Vee Triathlon, will take place this coming Sunday in Des Moines.