COMMUNITY: Indoor triathlon has unique challenge

Swimmers take off in the leg of last year's North Dodge Athletic Club Indoor Triathlon. (NDAC photo)
Swimmers take off in the leg of last year's North Dodge Athletic Club Indoor Triathlon. (NDAC photo)

Editor’s note: Jason Clark of Iowa City is the race director of the North Dodge Athletic Club Indoor Triathlon and a group exercise instructor at NDAC. He also is an active participant in the race scene in Eastern Iowa, competing in runs, duathlons and triathlons.

By Jason Clark, community contributor

IOWA CITY — Unlike a traditional outdoor triathlon in which each racer must cover the same distance in the shortest time possible, an indoor triathlon is about covering as much distance as possible in a given period of time.

The third annual North Dodge Athletic Club Indoor Triathlon will be held next Saturday, starting at 7 a.m. All proceeds from the race will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City.

Groups of racers begin in waves every 35 minutes. There is a 10-minute swim, a 30-minute ride on a spin bike and a 20-minute run on a treadmill. The distances from each event are recorded and compiled to determine the overall winners in the male and female division, as well as age-group winners within both divisions.

The overall winners will be presented with custom ceramic medallions from Renee’s Ceramic Café in Iowa City.

We originally organized this race with two goals in mind. First, we believed people like the idea of giving to their community but often aren’t sure how to best go about doing so. In addition to the registration fee for the race, our participants have the option to “race for a reason” by donating an additional amount of money to the Ronald McDonald House.

Due to the generosity of our participants and sponsors, we have gone from donating $176 dollars in 2011 to being on track to donate more than $1000 this year.

Secondly, we wanted to introduce more people to the growing sport of triathlon in an effort to help people become more involved in their own health and fitness. The participants in our race range in age from 13 to over 70, from first-timers to veteran triathletes.

One of the unique aspects of the race is that the race structure provides new participants the opportunity to race shoulder to shoulder with veteran triathletes throughout the event and push themselves to compete with some of the area’s best multi-sport athletes.

Before the race, participants check in, pick up their “swag” bag and have some time to warm up in the pool. To simulate an open water swim, all line dividers are removed from the pool.

After each event, participants are given a few minutes to transition to the next event.

During the spin portion of the race, participants will be riding to music provided by Spectra Technical. After the race, participants get to re-fuel with food provided by Fareway and race volunteers.

Additionally, each participant’s name is put into a drawing for door prizes that are provided by local businesses such as World of Bikes, Running Wild, Scheel’s, Complete Nutrition, We Run, Shannon Price and Samantha Meyers (NDAC personal trainers) and Coral Ridge Mall.

Additional financial support is received from Jones Family Dentistry, Matt Lepic at Lepic-Kroeger, Bowman Chiropractic, Old Capital Screen Printing and NDAC.

It is largely due to the support of our sponsors and the efforts of our race volunteers that the NDAC Indoor Triathlon is successful. We invite you to come and join with us on the 26th as we cheer on the participants in this year’s event. 

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