Under the Knife: Triathlon Club aims to run, swim and bike across finish line

Though the idea of swimming, biking and running may strike fear in the hearts of inactive students, members of the newly-formed Geneseo Triathlon Club look forward to doing all three in just one event.

"The great thing about [triathlons] is that anyone can do it," said Kate Olscamp, junior and president of the club.

It doesn't hurt to have support while training for this physically intensive event, which is part of reason that the club began. Last semester when Olscamp finished a triathlon and was interested in doing more, she collaborated with friend Karen Lemischak, junior and now vice president of the club.

Biology professor Tom Reho, who has completed the challenging Ironman triathlon, signed on as advisor to the aspiring triathletes and the two students began to distribute flyers and organize an interest meeting, to which over 30 people showed up.

"There's been a ton of support, and all the members are really enthusiastic," said Lemischak. Group members attend meetings every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Newton 212, where they share stories, plan upcoming events and get to know each other.

"The important thing for me is that I'm here in college and I want to be healthy, but not at an intercollegiate athletic level," said Olscamp of the appeal of training for a triathlon. "We're not a competitive team. We're a support group, working toward a goal together."

According to Olscamp, triathlon season generally runs from May through September, but the group will continue to meet in an effort to stay in shape and prepare for events throughout the winter. Several members of the group will be competing in the Finger Lakes Triathlon in Canadaigua on Sept. 21.

The club also offers the option for members to train and motivate each other together.

"I prefer to work out with others because I push myself more," said Lemischak.

In the future, Olscamp noted that she hopes to create different times for members' varied levels of ability to reduce intimidation and encourage even those with little or no experience to train. According to Lemischak, a portion of the group's members came into triathlons chiefly as runners, swimmers or bikers who wanted to develop their skills. As a result, members have a wide range of experience.

"It's an interesting community of athletic people," said Olscamp.

The group hopes to continue to grow on campus and off, using the resources at Geneseo and in the greater Rochester area.

"We want to form a community outside of Geneseo as well," said Olscamp.