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Destler Dodge

"When you're swimming, you can hear a muffled cheer once in awhile, when you turn your head [out of the water],” [J1] recalled second year Management Information Systems major Eric Lizotte. This cheerful spirit is his favorite part of volunteering for Try a Tri.

This Sunday, March 16, RIT will host its 10th Annual Try a Tri  in the Gordon Field House from 7:30 a.m. to noon. The scaled-down version of a triathlon is organized by the Running and Multisport Club, two RIT clubs that combined into one this year.

For the event's 10th year, the organizers are working with Colleges Against Cancer  to raise about $1,000 each for three organizations: Camp Good Days and Special Times in Upstate New York, CP Rochester and The Children's Tumor Foundation. The rest of the funds go to pay race entrance fees for members of the Running and Multisport Club.

"Typically we have around 75 to 100 people participate," said Matthew Woodard, Try a Tri organizer and third year Chemical Engineering major. You don't need to be in peak triathlon condition to participate in this fun, miniature triathlon.

To keep from overcrowding, the athletes are split into groups. Each group cycles through three 15-minute events: swimming, then cycling, then running.

"Your legs feel like Jello-O afterwards. You're so sore. Even though it's a short, 45 minute period," Woodard said. As a runner, Woodard said he enjoys biking and running much more than swimming.

Lizotte, who is co-organizing Try a Tri this year, loves the swimming leg of the event. "He [Woodard] will beat me every single time in running, so I have to have some way of getting ahead."

Full triathlons can be intimidating, according to Lizotte, especially the swimming, since athletes have to swim half a mile out and half a mile back. In Try a Tri the event consists of laps in the Judson pool.

While the event is certainly more laid back than a traditional triathlon, there is still a competitive aspect: the participant that travels the furthest across all three events is deemed the winner in his or her age category. "The scoring is switched around from the regular triathlon, so we measure by distance, not by time," Lizotte noted.

Lizotte said that he could see the satisfaction on the faces of the participants that finished Try a Tri last year. After participants finished the exhausting event, there was the added satisfaction of free food provided by the event organizers.

Try a Tri costs $10 for students, $25 for faculty and staff and $35 for members of the public. Participants can sign up on Active.com: http://www.active.com/rochester-ny/triathlon/rit-try-a-tri-2014. Active.com registration closes on Saturday but participants can also register the day of the event beginning at 7:30 a.m. Participants can sign up as individuals or in teams of three.

Participants are asked to bring goggles and running shoes. Stationary bikes will be provided, and free swimming caps will be given out for participating in the event.

For more information, check out the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1466343760252755/.