New UNA Triathlon Club Competes in National Championship This Week

Apr. 12, 2010


FLORENCE, Ala. – Just months after its inception, the University of North Alabama’s new student-run triathlon club is competing at the Triathlon Collegiate National Championship this Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.

The UNA triathlon club was formed in late fall and became an official USA Triathlon club in January. USA Triathlon is the national governing body for the sport.

David Hater, a senior geography major, started the club.

“I was in Lake Placid, N.Y., working the Ironman Triathlon for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and I just caught the bug,” Hater said.

A triathlon consists of running, cycling and swimming. The collegiate championship this week is an Olympic-length event that includes 1,500 meters of swimming, 24.85 miles of cycling and 6.2 miles of running.

The UNA triathlon club is open to all levels and is geared toward promoting a healthy lifestyle.

“It’s cool to see the different levels of interest and ability,” Hater said. “Some come in with a goal of just finishing a race, and others want to place. We welcome both.”

Hater said some people seem to have the idea that a triathlon is simply impossible.

“It is difficult, but it can be done,” he said.

The club trains about 15-16 hours a week, spending many hours on each of the three events.

“There is just something majestic about triathlon,” Hater said. “There are people who excel at one sport, but there’s just something about competing in three separate sports with no breaks and still having to be successful.”

After the Collegiate National Championship this Saturday, the club will compete in the Club Nationals in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in October.