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RecSports to host annual Biathlon

| Friday, August 28, 2015

The annual RecSports Biathlon will be held Saturday, Aug. 29 and will begin with a half-mile swim in St. Joseph’s Lake followed by a two-mile figure eight run around both St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s Lakes.

“The Biathlon has been going on since the early 90s, and has been an annual event every year,” Edward Beven, facility program coordinator for RecSports, said. “It is typically the first weekend of school, depending on the football schedule.”

According to Beven, the biathlon began over a decade ago without any particular medical or memorial cause to prompt its patronage; rather, the event “was designed to give the Notre Dame community an activity to do the first couple weeks of school.”

It precedes the Domer Run, RecSport’s “bigger charity event,” which will take place Saturday, Oct. 3.

Despite the biathlon being a relatively small and quick event in comparison to other athletic events put on by RecSports, Beven said a lot of preparation went into planning for the combination swim and run, including meetings with the Notre Dame Fire Department to approve plans for transportation and safety.

“Risk management and safety is our number one priority,” Beven said. “Staffing is done by RecSports, which is a combination of professional staff members and student staffing.

“Last year we had about 75 participants, so I think staying in that ballpark would be great. Our hope is that it’s a beautiful day and that those that participate have a great time, meet some new friends and just enjoy themselves. I don’t think we could ask for much more than that.”

Neither sophomores Anna Volk nor Katherine Inskeep has ever participated in this event before, but both said they think their previous experiences in triathlons will help in their first biathlon.

“I had wanted to last year, but don’t really like running,” Volk said.

The pair has decided to combine their efforts — Volk will complete the swimming portion of the event, while Inskeep will run.

To prepare for the biathlon, Volk drew on her past swimming career, while Inskeep turned to her running experiences.

“I swam competitively in high school and managed a pool this summer,” Volk said. “I had easy access to a pool and remembered a lot of sets that I used to do, as well as made up some of my own that were more biathlon specific.”

“When I was home over the summer, I went running with my high school cross country team,” Inskeep said, “It worked out well because I had other people to motivate me to keep going. I actually ran the course this morning, too, so I wouldn’t get lost during the race.”

The biathlon is open to all Notre Dame students, faculty and staff according to the RecSports website. There is no charge to register for the event.

Registration is currently open online via RecRegister at recregister.nd.edu.

According to the website, “the Biathlon has team or individual trials; Men’s, Women’s, and Co-Rec divisions; and Varsity and Non-Varsity categories.”

“The biathlon is roughly an 800-meter swim, and two-mile run,” Beven said. “Participants can do it individually or in pairs.  We meet down at St. Joe Beach — yes, Notre Dame has a beach.”

Registration for participants the day of the biathlon will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the boathouse on St. Joseph’s beach, located on the far end of St. Joseph’s Lake. The race will begin at 10 a.m. at the boathouse.

“I really just want to have fun, and promote swimming in the lakes,” Volk said, “Running around the lakes is a pretty common activity for Notre Dame students, but not many use the beach.”

“This is a chance for Notre Dame community members to see what RecSports can offer them,” Beven said,  “We have so many terrific events throughout the year, and this is a nice kickoff for the fall. It’s a quick event, but also challenging at the same time.  Come on out, and have a blast.”

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About Andrea Vale

Andrea Vale is a freshman at Notre Dame who has previously written for both the Sun Chronicle and the Huffington Post. She plans to major in English with a Creative Writing concentration and a minor in Journalism.

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