May 19, 2024

While many students are gearing up for a Wittfest full of live music, beautiful weather, and gratuitous partying, an esteemed group of the Tiger community will be psyching themselves up for a different reason entirely. Saturday, April 26 the campus will be holding the thirteenth annual Wittenberg Triathlon, a sweat-inducing test of endurance open to students, faculty, and immediate family members.
For those readers who don’t know, a triathlon is a race composed of three separate legs. Triathlons have been around a while. The word comes from the Greek-Latin “Tres” meaning three and “Athlon” meaning competition. Early recorded compositions of triathlons in modern history looked something like fly-fishing, horse jumping, and skeet shooting, or cross-country skiing, target shooting, and giant slalom. To be completely technical, by definition alone you could comprise a competition of blanket folding, wedgie-picking, and flower-sniffing and call it a triathlon.
The modern sport of Triathlon requires its partakers to swim, bike, and run their way to the finish. The first American triathlon took place in California in the early 1970’s and involved a 500 yard swim, five mile bike ride, and six mile run. Within a few years, the craze had taken hold and people all over the world were testing their pain thresholds and signing up to put themselves through the three-sport race.
Eventually, some individual decided to tack a marathon onto the end, because, you know, biking and swimming for two hours didn’t quite push the human close enough to collapse and death. This semi-sane pain-lover actually had friends who felt the same way, or at least a considerable number of like-minded individuals who thought the idea of spending an entire day dripping in perspiration and eating some powdered, energy-goo science project for meals seemed pretty neat; thus was born the modern triathalon.
Fortunately for the Tiger community, the Wittenberg Triathlon is nowhere near as distanced as the Ironman athletes would have it. The event is made up of a half mile swim, 13 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run. If that disappoints you, I implore you to not admit it for the sake of your own social reputation.
The deadline to register yourself or a team of your friends is April 16(April 10 if you want a t-shirt). Sign up and start your Wittfest Saturday off in a way you’ll actually remember. But don’t take my word for it. Just ask a member of the track team; a beer tastes considerably better after some serious exertion… and packs a heavier punch.

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