Dave Talmage prepares his bike for the triathlon

Photographer: Becca Cochran


Dave Talmage waits for his turn in the pool

Photographer: Becca Cochran

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Student reflects on first triathlon experience

First-time event attracts more than 250 participants

Senior Dave Talmage competed in the first Ohio University Athletes in Action Triathlon last weekend and finished seventh in his age group and 46th overall with a time of 1:34.00. Here, Talmage, a student writer with University Communications and Marketing, reflects on his first triathlon experience.

I think I could have gone a little faster. At least that's what the endorphins were telling me once I finally crossed the finish line of the Athletes in Action Triathlon on Saturday.

My body surprisingly felt great, besides my legs, which were unprepared for the hilly bike route. But I had done it, completed my first triathlon. It has taken me four years since I first said I wanted to do one, but better late than never.

Ironically, I found out about the race through Compass.

When I was assigned to write the race preview, I was thinking in the back of my mind, "I might just have to do this." A couple weeks later, I was signed up.

I figured since I've been a runner and swimmer most of my life, I wouldn't have a problem finishing, but I knew I'd need to start training again. After overcoming common overtraining injuries, I finally got back into shape.

Being a "newbie" on the triathlon scene, I was told to go out and enjoy it and that once I did one, I'd be hooked. Well they were right. The second I crossed that finish line, I knew I'd be back for more.

It was an amazing first triathlon and a challenging race at that. My strengths are my swimming and running, but my biking … well, let's just say I got on my bike a total of three, maybe four, times prior to the race. Boy was that a mistake!

If I had to start my training over again, I would have biked a lot more. The bike route was only 25 kilometers, but it was hilly. If your thighs didn't want to fall off and run away, then I don't think we were on the same course.

The people I met during the race were all very nice, making it feel less like a competition and more like a friendly get together.

I also had great support, someone cheering me on, which definitely made me push myself even harder. At the same time, the fans reminded me to have fun and not kill myself the first time around. (Then I'd never be able to see another race.)

In the end, I made it and learned a lot.  

In my opinion, triathlons aren't about physical strength or endurance, they are a physical feat. It's about seeing what you're really made of. It's about pushing through the pain and finding out that you can make it. You can take that extra stroke, pedal or kick. If you can see yourself doing it and train properly, anything is possible, especially finishing a triathlon.

Anyone even remotely interested should go out and sign up because you'll have a blast. Just do it!



Athletes in Action Triathlon a huge success

By Dave Talmage

The first Athletes in Action Triathlon was a huge success with 256 registered participants, 210 individuals and 16 two- or three-person relays.

Thirty-five percent of the participants were competing in their first triathlon, 30 percent were OHIO alumni, and 50 percent lived outside of the Athens area.

Tri-athlete Ryan Bates was the individual triathlon winner with a time of 1:10:57.

The winning relay teams were Army ROTC and the women's field hockey team. 

First-time tri-athlete Maureen Muth reflected on her experience and had nothing but great things to say.

"I absolutely loved the whole experience," Muth said. "From the training and anticipation until the finish, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well I could do and shocked to come away with third place in my division. It's something I think many more people would enjoy."

More than 70 volunteers helped make the triathlon successful. More than half of the volunteers were from the OHIO varsity basketball, football, golf, swimming and diving teams.

"Putting on an event like this costs quite a bit, and we were blessed to have received amazing support from our local sponsors," said event organizer Bill Hauschild.

Sponsors included ZONEZ, Abrio's Brick Oven, Cycle Path, The Holiday Inn Express, Brenen's Coffee Café, Heiner's Bakery, Porta-Kleen, National Guard, Athens County Visitors Bureau and the Ohio University Air Force ROTC program.

Due to the success of this year's event, Hauschild said he plans to host the event again next year and hopes to attract even more OHIO staff and faculty involvement.

For race details visit