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First Steelwoman Triathlon Gets Students Moving

Typically, a triathlon—a grueling athletic competition in which participants swim, bicycle and run for several hours—is an outdoor event. But with a little adaptability, there’s no reason that a triathlon can’t be conducted indoors. And with the erratic temperatures and harsh winds of this time of year, inside climes make for more comfortable competition.

That’s why the first Steelwoman triathlon, an event coordinated by the Smith Athletic Association Intramural Committee, has participants competing entirely indoors. Open to Smith students, Steelwoman, on Sunday, March 9, will put athletes through timed trials.

Entrants will have the option of swimming a half-mile or full mile via laps in the Ainsworth swimming pool. They will then cycle 15 miles on stationery bikes in the Olin Fitness Center. The race will conclude with a five-mile run on the track in the Indoor Track and Tennis facility.

The event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to approximately 2 p.m., depending on finishing times. (Ainsworth Gym, Olin Fitness Center and the ITT will be closed for use during the event; however, spectators are welcome.)

Mostly for fun, Steelwoman also aims to inspire people to use the college’s array of facilities, said Aliza Leventhal ’09, the intramural sports coordinator. “The objective is to continue to reach our goal of getting Smith students and community members active and taking advantage of our athletic facilities.”

The intramural committee is conducting this first triathlon on a trial basis, said Leventhal, by recruiting students to participate and helping them train for the event. “This has been a great opportunity for people who have and have not worked out before to learn how to create workouts for themselves, train for events and learn to use the facilities Smith offers,” she said. “I believe these women will have pride in themselves for this achievement and most likely a better appreciation for working out and being active and healthy.”

Twenty-four women will swim, bike and jog in the competition. Some will compete in teams, with each member taking a single leg of the triathlon. All participants will receive shirts, backpacks, drink “cozies,” bottle openers and Smith swim caps from the Athletic Association.

The committee hopes to make the indoor triathlon a twice-yearly event, one each semester, said Leventhal.

3/4/08   By Eric Sean Weld
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