Nov. 21, 2011
SEATTLE - Sometimes, you just need a fun diversion.
This was the impetus behind the third annual Husky Crew triathlon, a grueling - albeit entertaining - competition last Saturday that provides the UW oarsmen with a respite from pair boats and ergometer workouts. Men's crew coach Michael Callahan came up with an activity that would offer aerobic/anaerobic benefits while also keeping spirits high.
He also provided a carrot: the oarsman who finished the 10K run, 10K erg and stadium run fastest earned an automatic bid to Winter Training in San Diego. This year's winner was junior Beddome Allen, who had been rowing with the third varsity boat this fall.
The triathlon motivates rowers who might not be in the top boats to nevertheless earn the coveted trip to San Diego, where the Huskies will row in late December at the Olympic Training Facility.
"This rewards a guy who might not be the best rower, but is a great runner or is just strong overall," Callahan said.
Allen finished the triathlon in a time of 1:29.48, nearly two minutes faster than second-place finisher Tom Lehmann.
Callahan said he makes it a point to change up the fall routine with fun, yet competition-based activities. The Husky crew practices demand so much of the rowers that a break is needed every so often.
"If you train on the edge as often as we do, you need fun events to reward the rowers," Callahan said. "It helps build spirit among the teams, so even though these are still hard activities, it's fun as well."
The event isn't just open to rowers from men's crew. This year, the team was joined by sophomore oarswoman Kirstyn Goodger, a New Zealander who is one of the top athletes on the women's team. She was honored after the race, along with Allen, Lehmann and Nick Sypro, the top freshman finisher.
In past years, the Huskies have done the stair run at Husky Stadium. But with renovations making the venue unusable, the team took that part of the competition indoors to Alaska Airlines Arena.