9TH TriByKnight ADDS VIRTUAL OPTION TO IN-PERSON EXPERIENCE

COURTESY WARTBURG MARKETING

ANNIKA WALL, TRUMPET CREATIVE DIRECTOR

When the ninth annual TriByKnight (TBK) was cancelled in May, Heather Zajicek, TBK race director, went to work on ensuring the triathlon would be able to take place at a later date. After being moved from the beginning of the triathlon season to the end, TBK will commence with both virtual and in-person options at 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 10. This year’s TBK will be the largest ever recorded after 344 participants registered as of Sept. 25. 

“Personally, TriByKnight is a perfect way to get the community together in competing, but also understand our true potential,” Sarah Campbell, TBK volunteer and third-year elementary education major, said.

This will be the first year TBK will offer a virtual option. Out of the total number, 10 will be competing virtually. These participants will take part in a duathlon, where the swim portion will be substituted for a run. 

“When we postponed the race, we knew that some people just wouldn’t feel comfortable racing for a variety of reasons. The makeup day is not going to work for everyone, so we wanted to have a virtual option,” Zajicek said.

Those racing in person will also be expected to be socially distant prior to the race. As TBK begins with the swim portion, participants will line up according to their submitted swim times in the Hoover Fieldhouse & Track in the Wartburg-Waverly Sports & Wellness Center (The W). Curtains will be used to separate participants who will be asked to stay six feet apart. This will also be enforced while transitioning to the bike portion of the race, as individual bikes will be spaced out to allow for social distancing. 

Additionally, participants must have masks on while waiting to begin the race. Masks will also be available after the race has been completed.

“When the pandemic hit, we were finishing up our stuff to prepare for the triathlon in May,” Dani Johnson, TBK student intern and fourth-year business administration major, said. “When we decided to postpone, we had to reconfigure our approach to how we wanted to continue to market our race, but still keep people safe.”

While Zajicek said TBK is a fan-friendly race, spectators are encouraged to stay home. They will not be allowed in The W, which will also be closed that morning, or on Zimmerman Field in Walston-Hoover Stadium. Spectators will be able to sit in both the home and visitor seating to watch participants finish the race in addition to standing on the outside of the field. 

“With the limited races that have occurred, not only triathlons but road races in general, that has been the common thing,” Zajicek said. 

TBK consists of a 300-yard swim, 15-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run. For more information, go to wartburg.edu/triathlon

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