Lawrence’s inaugural Tri Boldt Triathlon succeeds

It was all smiles on Boldt Way. Early on Saturday, Sept. 26, the inaugural Lawrence University Tri Boldt Triathlon, a friendly competition focused around Lawrence’s own Boldt Way, began. Competing either in teams or by themselves, 26 students and staff members of all levels of fitness swam 300 yards, biked 4.5 miles, and ran 1.6 miles to complete the endurance race.

The first place winners in the team competition were Team Steitz, with a time of 28 minutes and 35 seconds. The team consisted of Daniel Martin ‘07, senior Tyler Herman and junior Dani Millin. Winning the individual race was freshman Jason Lau, who completed in all three legs of the race in 36 minutes and 59 seconds.

The triathlon was created to give Lawrentians another chance to motivate themselves to stay healthy and active. “The idea was to create an opportunity for people to try a triathlon if they’ve never done it before, and if they have, to have a nice event on a beautiful fall morning,” Director of Wellness and Recreation Erin Buenzli said.

The race began in the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center pool, where the competitors took care of the swimming portion of the race first. The racers had to swim 300 yards, or 12 times the length of the pool, after which team competitors tagged their bike riding teammates for the next leg of the course.

Individual racers had to ascend the mountain that is the Wellness Center stairway to their awaiting bikes to complete the 4.5 mile bike loop that stretched across the river, down a trail and then back across the river to campus. “That trail was much hillier than I thought,” junior and biking competitor Raleigh Heath said.

Finally, amidst the cheers of spectators, the racers completed the last leg of the race: the footrace. The running course extended down Boldt Way, around the Quadrangle, back toward Main Hall, around Ormsby and finished at the doors of the Wellness Center. This loop was repeated twice by the competitors to make up the 1.6 miles.

In total, the course ran for over six miles. “It was really hard,” reflected junior Kirstin Edwards, who took fourth in the individual race. “I thought I’d be able to catch up on the running part, but my legs were so tired.”

Despite the difficulty of the course, all of the competitors finished with a huge smile on their face resulting from that crazy sensation one only gets by pushing their body to the absolute limit. Of course, the cheers and support of their fellow Lawrentians did not hurt either.

Overall, the event was a very positive experience for those who participated and a great addition to healthy living on the Lawrence campus. “We hope to make this event a yearly tradition,” Buenzli said. “After the success of today’s race, we may even consider having it again in the spring.” Look for the Tri-Boldt Triathalon next year, and maybe next spring, as motivation to continue training and living a healthy lifestyle.