Exercise is an important part of our daily regimen: Some people run. Others ride bikes. Still others swim. Allyson Noyes (NHS ’13) and TJ Dowling (SFS ’12)? They do all three.

Noyes and Dowling are the captains of Georgetown’s club triathlon team, a group that boasts approximately 30 to 40 active members. Athletes participate in up to five events in the fall before winter arrives, and they dedicate themselves to training.

USA Triathlon oversees every triathlon event in the country. The national tournament, held this year in Tuscaloosa, Ala., is but one of the many events USA Triathlon puts on during the year. The season culminates in the sole spring event, the Collegiate National Championship — the only triathlon event limited to collegiate teams.

So Noyes, Dowling and the rest of the triathlon team normally compete against well, normal people.

“TJ could be riding his bike and all of a sudden get passed by a 60-year-old,” Noyes said.

This past weekend, Georgetown traveled out to the mountains in Maryland to compete in one of the hardest tracks in the world, the Savage Man Triathlon event, which consists of a 1,500 meter swim, 22.9 miles of biking and a 10 kilometer run.

Nothing too strenuous.

Georgetown was the only college team participating in the event, and the athletes fared remarkably well. For the women, Maggie Wardell (SFS ’13) finished in second in the 15-to-19 age division, while Noyes won the 20-to-24 age group, one place ahead of Michelle Cino (MSB ’12). On the men’s side, Jacob Gilden (GRD) finished in first while Dave Warrington (COL ’14) came in second.

A triathlon is a pure test of fitness, endurance and mental toughness. The team’s success is predicated on following a strict training routine. The club holds two practices per day, and most active members attend about four per week.

It’s a pretty hefty time commitment for a club team.

Still, the club is constantly fighting to stay alive. With transportation costs and entrance fees for events, the club is dependant on financial help from Georgetown. Last year was particularly tight for the group, but Student Activity Fee Endowment Reform proved to be crucial.

“As a result of SAFE Reform, our budget tripled this year, which really helped,” Dowling said.

The club also competes for time just to train for their events, which is a burden in a sport that requires intense and consistent training. Access to facilities is simply limited.

“Yates has so many things to accommodate,” Noyes said. “With club teams and intramural teams and everybody else who wants to use the facilities, they have to appeal to the whole community.”

Still, the group has found success.

“We’ve been going through Club Sports — they’ve been our biggest advocates,” Dowling said. “They’re kind of the intermediaries between us and Yates. We’ve been able to solidify our weekly spin times, as well as our pool times.”

Ultimately, the time commitment is comparable to any of the school’s varsity teams.

So with 19 credits of coursework, nine hours per week at her job and numerous other groups, how does Noyes find the time to train for and compete in triathlon events?

“The triathlon [club] has actually really helped me balance all these things,” Noyes said. “Even with all these things, I can still have an active social life. You can be an intense athlete but also be a normal, balanced person, especially at the collegiate level.”

“And I don’t think I’m an anomaly,” she added.

Her pre-med co-captain agrees.

“I’ve learned how to manage my time much more efficiently,” Dowling said. “You can’t really let up when you’re training throughout the year. … Tri really lends itself nicely to a collegiate schedule, because you can train on your own time.”

The flexibility of a club sport is a major attraction for both captains, who are active in the campus community beyond the triathlon team.

“It’s nice that we can be so involved with this team. We put in as much time as we can, but at the same time we have the flexibility to do what we need to,” Noyes said.

Nonetheless, the two admit they are kept busy throughout the year. Still, the appeal of competing overwhelms any qualms they once had about the major time commitment. Like many members of the club, Noyes never imagined getting so involved — or attached — to club triathlon.

“I kind of got roped into it, made a lot of great friends. I got really into it after nationals and just fell in love. It’s a great community, and racing is the best feeling ever. … A lot of people accidentally fall into it,” Noyes said.

Dowling expressed similar feelings. “I joined last fall. My fifth race was nationals, and after that I was hooked. A lot of people talk about catching the tri-bug, and I guess that was me,” he said.

For Dowling, the thrill of a triathlon recreates the sense of competition he once had in high school as a three-sport varsity athlete.

“I missed the feeling of competing and the team aspect of sports,” he said. “Triathlons are nice because it’s an individual race. The work you put in is what you get out.”

But even though the competitions laud individual efforts, the feeling of being on a team, of being part of something bigger, only adds to the appeal of a triathlon.

“We show up [at an event] together, we spend the whole night together and celebrate afterward,” Dowling said.

“There’s a big camaraderie before and after races. We’re all there supporting each other,” Noyes said. “The team aspect makes races that much more fun. We have a big presence at races.”

But perhaps the most defining characteristic of these athletes is the determination they show, not just in events, but every day throughout the year. Each day is an opportunity to train, to build mental toughness and physical fitness.

The prospect of competing in a triathlon is daunting to most people. But to Noyes and Dowling, the formula for success is clear.

“Anyone can do it,” Noyes said, while her co-captain nodded in agreement. “People get so freaked out when I tell them I do triathlons, but really anyone can do it. If people just resolve to do it, they can.”

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