On Sunday July 26, the Pioneer soccer team will hold its ninth annual Pioneer Power Sprint event on the TWU Denton campus, featuring a triathlon and a 5K. The event will occur on campus grounds and along Highway 428 – the 200-yard swim will take place in the Fitness And Recreation indoor pool, the 16.1-mile bike ride will take place on Highway 428, and the 3.1 mile run and 5K will take place on campus, starting at the golf course and ending in front of Hubbard Hall. The event is open to the public.
Athletics Director Chalese Connors said of the event: “This is a great introductory triathlon. If you’ve been wanting to do a triathlon or even a 5K, or if you’ve done one and you’re not sure if you want to do another, this is a perfect short course. It’s fast. You have your competitors. They blaze through, and it’s amazing. And then you have those who go at their own pace. It’s not intimidating at all, and it shouldn’t be.”
She outlined the event’s origins: “Our former soccer coach Fleur Benetar was looking to establish a triathlon basically as a fundraiser for the soccer program back nine years ago. She thought that it would be a different approach to fundraising and a great way to get a different group of people on campus.”
Connors added: “We’ve seen steady progression, getting larger and larger. Now that we’ve added the 5K, it’s a completely different component.”
Once the triathlon and 5K are complete, athletes and attendees can enjoy some post-finish line festivities. Booths and vendors will be set up in front of Hubbard Hall with fitness and nutrition products, and free food and refreshments will be offered while live music plays. An awards ceremony will also take place.
Connors said of the post-race party: “One thing that we’re famous for is free pancakes. Dr. Feyten was out there last year with me, and she was flipping and serving pancakes. Being a person who is very fitness-aware, she enjoys this event too, so this was one of the very first things she did when she signed on as Chancellor.”
She added: “It’s a different atmosphere on this campus on a Sunday morning in the summer than you’ll ever see. It’s buzzing with activity. It’s a lot of fun.”
Connors concluded: “We are thrilled that this little idea from our very first soccer coach, back in the day so to speak, has blossomed into this annual event that people look forward to.”
Triathlon athletes can participate individually or as teams. Members on teams will have to participate in each branch of the race, and team scores will be based on average completion times.
Discounted early registration fees and team registration are no longer available, but individuals can still register for the 5K for a fee of $35 and for the triathlon for a fee of $89. Registration closes Tuesday July 21. Money raised from the event will contribute to student athlete scholarships.
By: Matt Olson | Copy Editor