A year to remember for Triathlon

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University triathletes in action at the Scottish student duathlon championships.
Credit: Nea Mikkola

Stirling University Triathlon Club have had another busy year, jam-packed with everything from national events to on-campus competitions.

As one of the most active clubs on campus, the triathlon club trains five times a week, in a variety of different activities from swimming classes to spin sessions.

The club’s first competition this year was in October, with the aquabike/aquathon event taking place on the university campus.

The club’s captain Shannon Moses said: “We really enjoy taking part in competitions on campus, so we always try and get as many members out to those as possible.”

In November, they had their first big competitive event, with the BUCS Duathlon taking place in Chippenham. For many members, this was their first big competition, so it was an opportunity to gain some experience competing against some of Britain’s best student athletes.

Sophia Greene ensured that a Stirling athlete ended up on the podium, with a third-place finish.

From December to February, there are not a lot of competitive events, but the club’s members use the quiet period effectively to focus on fitness and squeeze in some strength and conditioning training.

It was full speed ahead in the Spring semester, which saw the university’s triathletes taking part in a variety of competitions, at home and abroad.

In April, the club was out in full force at another on-campus competition, the Stirling Duathlon Championships.

With the advantage of a home crowd, the Stirling athletes put in some stellar team performances, with the men’s team coming out on top, and the women’s team taking third in the event, which was organised by Scottish Student Sport.

There were also some impressive individual performances on the day. Stirling claimed the top two spots in the men’s race, thanks to the efforts of Cameron Main and Tom Hogg. Meanwhile, Ailsa Beck took third in the women’s event.

There were also some standout performances further afield, with Cameron Main finishing an impressive race to come eighth in the British Triathlon Championships.

Luca Fanottoli finished 18th in the Italian Duathlon Championships.

Unlike the majority of sports clubs, some of the club’s training sessions are hosted by members, with the club’s president-elect, Alex Zemek-Parkinson, hosting spin sessions.

Several members have, or are in the process of acquiring, their level 2 coaching qualifications.

Moses and Zemek-Parkinson took part in the Stirling Half Marathon 2019, with both athletes smashing their personal best times.

Zemek-Parkinson and Moses stand with their medals after the Stirling Half-Marathon.
Credit: Nea Mikkola

Zemek-Parkinson will also travel to Lahti, Finland, on June 29 to take part in a Half Ironman, where he will cover more than 70 miles over the swim, bike and run. He will be raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

It is clear that triathlon is a highly inclusive club at the university, with a wide range of abilities represented.

Moses said: “Some members came to uni not being able to swim very well and they have improved massively this year.”

Looking forward to next year, the club are looking to continue their strong turnout in BUCS competitions and keep up appearances at on-campus events.

And in terms of fundraising, the club want to do a 24-hour spin-a-thon in the Atrium in the Autumn semester.

When asked why people should join triathlon, team captain Moses enthused: “It’s a fun, inclusive club and you don’t just get to do one sport, you get to do three.”

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Fourth-year BA (Hons) Journalism Studies student.
News Editor, Sports Editor and Head of Proofreading for Brig Newspaper.

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