GREG COMBS: Cycling: Triathlon Club Starting Up in Moore County
I recently learned that a new triathlon club is starting in our area.
So, I asked around to learn more for an upcoming column and found out that the Sandhills Triathlon Club (provisional) was having a meeting last Thursday evening at the FirstHealth Fitness Center. When I arrived at the meeting, I was pleasantly surprised to see more than 20 people in attendance. The audience looked fit and vibrant and I felt like I was walking in on a casting call for "Grey's Anatomy" as some folks were wearing surgical scrubs. However, I could have walked in on a "Desperate House Wives" set just as easily, since some folks were also building contractors, law enforcement officers, and accountants.
I was eagerly accepted into the friendly triathlon domain and greeted by Randy Ballard who was chairing the meeting. Since this was only the second meeting for the newly formed club, I was very impressed to find they had already developed a mission statement that:
"The Sandhills Triathlete Club welcomes novice through experienced athletes, 14 years of age and older, from Central North Carolina to promote sportsmanship in multi-sports by enhancing fitness, educating its members and the community, by participating in USA Triathlon (USAT) and other competitions and events, and by providing an environment for group training and for the nurturing of camaraderie."
Ballard provided me with a list of goals and objectives for the group. Following are just a few of these goals:
The Sandhills Triathlon Club will establish a membership process and an organizational relationship with USA Triathlon (USAT) and other selected multi-sport organizations.
In addition, the club will develop a set of rules and procedures for the club and its members. The club is also planning to publish an annual schedule of events that will be updated quarterly.
During the club's monthly meetings, members will conduct event planning and execution through committee and individual volunteer efforts.
The triathlon club and its sponsors will also conduct periodic multi-sport workshops separately or in conjunction with monthly meetings. In fact, Amelia Kirkland who is a Level II USAT Coach and seasoned Ironman competitor is conducting many training workshops in the coming weeks to help prepare folks for the Pinehurst Triathlon in September. The upcoming workshop topics are Injury Prevention & Cross Training, Nutrition, Swim Clinic, Equipment Q & A, Transition 1 Practice, Open Water Swim, Bike Ride, Transition 2 Practice, and Mental Training and USAT rules.
For additional information about these workshops, to include fees, location, and time, please contact Amelia Kirkland at akirkland@ firsthealth.org.
Along with the planned training workshops, the triathlon club has an active Google Group discussion site for planning group training sessions and locations.
As I perused the Sandhills Triathletes discussion board, I was awestruck with the message traffic that totaled nearly 400. Obviously, there is an interest and a great need for a local triathlon club in the Sandhills.
At the next meeting, on Aug. 25, the club will elect officers and form the following committees: social, membership, communication, events/planning, finance, group workouts and training, and nonprofit. In addition to electing officers and developing committees, the club will be focusing on creating their club jersey and obtaining sponsorships.
For additional information about the Sandhills Triathlon Club, please contact Randy Ballard at rsballard@ firsthealth.org or Heather MacMillan at hmacmillan@ firsthealth.org.
Greg Combs is a cyclist and coach for more than 30 years and is considered an expert in bicycling fit and rider positioning. He is also the Director of the Sport Management Program at Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC. For more information browse www.velosmart.com or email him at email@example.com
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