The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Demon Dash Indoor Triathlon kicks off the new year

DePaul senior Lucia Botello is an experienced triathlete, who took part in her fifth triathalon of the year at the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center Sunday. (Geoff Stellfox / The DePaulia)
DePaul senior Lucia Botello is an experienced triathlete, who took part in her fifth triathalon of her career at the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center Sunday. (Geoff Stellfox / The DePaulia)

Fitness enthusiasts swam, cycled, and ran their way through the Demon Dash Indoor Triathlon hosted by the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center Sunday morning. 

Its second year running, DePaul’s indoor triathlon allows both beginners and experienced triathletes to compete despite Chicago’s bitter January weather. The sport has grown in popularity since the ’70s and became part of the Olympic Games in 2000.

Traditional triathlons typically involve fixed distances for swimming, cycling, and running but DePaul’s triathlon is set up differently. The format for Sunday morning’s event was 10 minutes of swimming laps in the pool, a 10 minute transition, 30 minutes of biking in the gym’s cycle studio, a 5 minute transition and 20 minutes of running on treadmills. The goal is to complete as much distance possible in the time allotted for each leg of the race.

A point system determined an overall male and female winner. Last year’s overall male winner Brian Gier finished with 71.5 points. He swam a total of 27 laps, biked 15.1 miles, and ran 2.89 miles. Rita Mannelli ranked first among females with a total of 46 points.

Ben Varble completes the cycling portion of the DePaul Indoor Triathlon. Each participant completes 10 minutes of swimming, 30 minutes of cycling, and 20 minutes of running. (Geoff Stellfox / The DePaulia)
Ben Varble completes the cycling portion of the DePaul Indoor Triathlon. Each participant completes 10 minutes of swimming, 30 minutes of cycling, and 20 minutes of running. (Geoff Stellfox / The DePaulia)

Assistant Director of Fitness Services Courtney Griffin said the event brought in a nice variety of contestants from all over the city. There were 25 participants, five of whom competed in last year’s Demon Dash Indoor Triathlon. The competition has been kept relatively small so it doesn’t disturb other gym members.

Sarah Hardin, DePaul’s Associate Director of Campus Recreation, said this event is a good entry point for people who have never competed in a triathlon before and want to try it out.

“The main purpose is really to help people jumpstart their fitness goals,” Hardin said. “It gives people the chance to get a focus when it’s cold outside and think, ‘Okay what do I want to try to accomplish this year’ and it provides a great chance for them to see where they’re at.”

The Demon Dash Indoor Triathlon is open to anyone interested, not just the DePaul community. Competitor Serenna Wash is a member of the Tri-City Dream Team Sisters, one of many triathlon clubs in Chicago. Wash is training to run longer triathlons, with the ultimate goal of competing in an Olympic format, which covers over 32 miles.

“I just know that I want to take it to the next level,” Wash said.

After completing the Demon Dash, experienced triathlete and DePaul alumni Marsha Komosa was pleased with her performance.

“This was a five-star event. It was perfectly organized with lots of volunteers and all new, good equipment,” Komosa said. “It was just a really fun, high energy experience.”

The Ray will host another indoor triathlon on April 3rd.

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