Clemson Triathlon Team Competes in National Championships Here in Clemson!

Have you ever been in the car on your way to pick up fast food and seen a car with a 26.2 bumper sticker? Did you wonder how someone could possibly run 26.2 miles? Maybe that’s not intense enough for you. Let’s change the running to biking and add in a one mile open water swim before a marathon of biking. Tired, yet? Alright, how about finishing off the swim and bike ride with a 10k run? Sound impossible? Clemson sophomore, Mike Pajewski, completes races like these every semester as apart of the Clemson Club Triathlon team.

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(Mike Pajewski completing the bike portion of the triathlon)

As a competitive swimmer from Charlottesville, VA, Mike knew he wanted to continue his training when he came to Clemson to study Industrial Engineering. When he met someone from the Club Triathlon team he was encouraged to come out for some practices. At first, Mike was hesitant as he was only used to swimming, but he gave it a chance.

At his first practice, Mike was barely able to run a few miles. However, the good thing about Triathlon Club is that students from all ranges and experiences participate and encourage one another. Also, the club coach will work with you to design a specific training plan unique to you. Because of the support Mike received as well as his dedication and commitment, Mike continued attending practices and competed in his first national triathlon event last April. This year, Mike has transitioned into the role of club President, which is a testament to his dedication and passion for the sport.

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(Mike, front row far left, pictured with other members of the team)

Still a little confused about what it takes to be apart of Club Triathlon? Let’s talk about it. First, anyone can be apart of the team—there are no cuts. The practices aren’t mandatory, but when you do practice you can choose your own pace and level of training. The coach, president, and others in the group are also willing to help beginners come up with a personalized training plan. Seriously, you don’t have to be an amazing athlete to join, but you can certainly become one after your involvement in the club!BL3G6203

The team typically competes in three races a semester with nationals in the Spring. There are two different types of races: sprint races and Olympic races. Sprint races are a little shorter with a 750m open swim, 12-17 mile bike ride, and 5k run. Olympic races are the traditional one mile swim, 25 mile bike ride, and 10k run. To compete in these races each racer must pay certain fees associated with travel, race fees, team apparel, and more. Because the fees can rack up, Mike and his executive committee have spearheaded many new fundraising initiatives such as obtaining new bike sponsors, selling team apparel to alumni, kids, and those in the community, as well as working to bring back the Easter Bunny 5k run.

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The team is lucky this year, though, because the 2015 Collegiate Club National Championships are actually being held right here in Clemson, SC. On April 24th and 25th Club Triathlon teams from all over the nation will travel to Clemson to compete in numerous races and events in order to walk away as champions. Whether you are interested in getting involved with triathlon, looking for something to do this weekend, or just wanting to support fellow members of the Clemson Family come out Friday and Saturday to cheer on Mike and all the other members of the Club Triathlon team!

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The dates, time, and location for the events are as follows:

-Friday, April 24
Race: Draft Legal Sprint
Location: Clemson’s Campus Beach
Times: Men (9am), Women (11am)

-Saturday, April 25
Race: Olympic Distance
Location: Clemson’s Campus Beach
Times: Men (7:30am), Women (10:40am)

-Saturday, April 25
Race: Mixed Team Relay
Location: Clemson’s Campus Beach
Time: 4:15pm

Don’t forget to come out this weekend wearing your orange to cheer on the team all the way to the finish line!

If you are interested in learning more about the Club Triathlon team at Clemson, want to know how to get involved, or want to buy some cool merch check out the team’s website at www.clemsontri.com or “like” them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/clemsontriclub

Blog post written by Joey Dunaway, Graduate Marketing Intern.
All photos courtesy of Clemson Club Triathlon

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