As the Boise State triathlon team and its new members begin to reassemble after a three-month layoff, this close-knit program is looking forward to new challenges this spring.
A triathlon is a multi-sport marathon that features events in swimming, biking and running. There is one mile each for a swim and a run, while the longest portion of the race is the seven-mile bike ride. The order of the events varies from race to race and, in certain cases, these events can be spread across three different days, one day for each event.
Most practices are being held on Tuesday evenings and early Friday mornings at the Boise State Rec Center. Practices earlier in the week emphasize swimming, while long-distance and up-tempo running is the focus later in the week.
Club team president and senior biomedical chemistry major Serena Sheldon said the team has a lot to offer.
“We welcome athletes of all skill levels to our club,” Sheldon said. “We are looking forward to having more people join our family atmosphere and become better athletes and people along the way. That is the main goal.”
Sheldon has been on the team for the last three years, racking up miles wearing the Boise State uniform. Now in her third year, she was granted the position of team president.
At the moment, Sheldon is the sole member of the team, though she is in the process of gathering more athletes to join.
“The beginning of a season is always hard, especially if past players have either graduated or are far too busy to keep up with the demands of the team,” Sheldon said, “but when we finally do gather athletes, most catch on quickly and the report within the team is high.”
Both past and present triathlon team presidents emphasize that being involved in the club can open many doors for future athletic endeavors.
Former team president and athlete Carl Breidenbach praised the triathlon club program for the overall environment of the team and how it pushed him to continue competing down the road.
“Being on this team showed me a lot about myself,” Breidenbach said. “I did not think I was able to push myself as hard as I did being on the team. I went to the limit in every meet, and that feeling of accomplishment made me want to continue doing triathlons to this day.”
The team is looking forward to three separate meets in the coming months. In March, the yearly Idaho State Bengal Triathlon will welcome a handful of teams from neighboring states. The Broncos have participated in this meet for the last five years.
Following two other meets in Utah in early April, the biggest race of the season will be the 28th Annual Onion Man Triathlon at Bennington Lake in Walla Walla, Washington. Boise State will be one of 20 teams to compete, and this will be just the second time they do so.
Sign-ups were officially opened in early January. Team practices are set to begin in the coming weeks, with the first meet scheduled for early March.