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Athletic Club Spotlight: The DC Triathlon Club

Athletic Club Spotlight: The DC Triathlon Club

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 5:50am

Photo courtesy of the DC Triathlon Club

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Tell us about your club's mission/history.
The DC Triathlon Club began in 2002 as an informal listserve for a group of area triathlon enthusiasts. Over the last 13 years, the club has grown into the third largest triathlon club in the nation and the largest on the eastern seaboard with over 1200 members. The club welcomes multi-sport athletes of all levels and abilities, from beginners to seasoned Ironman finishers. Our primary goal is to provide a community where DC metro area multi-sport athletes can meet, train, and socialize.

How much does it cost to join?
Being a member of our club is an exceptionally good value. We only charge $50 per year (discounted slightly if you purchase a multi-year membership). With that fee, you get a membership kit (your choice of a tech t-shirt, hat, etc.) plus access to weekly group workouts, sport-specific clinics, support at local races, member-exclusive discounts, access to our full website and discussion forum, as well as club training and social events. In addition to all those benefits, membership in the club opens up access to all of our training programs that will help an individual complete their first triathlon, get faster, tackle a Half Ironman or a full Ironman, improve swimming, and improve their cycling.
What skill levels are appropriate?
We are the perfect club for everyone from the couch potato who has never run a block to the multiple Ironman finisher! Our most popular program, in fact, is our New Triathletes Program (NTP). NTP is a structured training program led by dedicated DC Tri Club volunteers that offers information and support to help individuals complete their first triathlon. NTP has grown over the years to now bring in 200 participants new to triathlon every year and has been a model program for triathlon clubs around the nation. At the other end of the spectrum, we sponsor a team of elite amateurs who regularly qualify for championship races around the world including the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. So we really cover the entire gamut of skill levels.
What type of gear do athletes need in order to participate in the club?
Triathlon gets a bad rap as being a prohibitively expensive sport, but you really can get by with very basic entry-level gear. For swimming, you need a swim suit (we recommend "racing" style suits rather than loose styles that you might wear at the beach), goggles, and a swim cap. For biking, your "must-haves" are a bike and a helmet. For all club events, we require that riders wear bike helmets. We care more about your brains staying intact than your hair looking good. For running, you need a good pair of running sneakers. That's it! Of course, you can add dozens of additional pieces of gear as you progress in the sport and want to invest more money in your equipment.
How many members are in your club? What are your club's demographics in terms of age, gender, etc.?
We are currently the third-largest triathlon club in the country, with over 1200 members in DC, MD, and VA. We really do have a very diverse membership, with members ranging from just out of high school all the way into their 70s, though our largest concentration of members fall in the 30-40 year old range. We are also pretty evenly split in our male/female membership numbers- which is great news because triathlon has traditionally been a more male-dominated sport, especially in the longer-distance races.
Does your club have weekly workouts? If so, when and where are they?
The DC Triathlon Club offers many opportunities to train year-round throughout the District and the suburbs of MD and VA. We have weekly workouts in all three sports and in several geographic areas to accomodate all of our members - all detailed on our club calendar. The club runs its own Masters swim program that has six weekly workouts and has open swims on alternate days. We have very well-attended weekly bike rides in the warmer-weather months, as well as a coached off-season indoor spin program in the colder months. The club also has year-round, twice-weekly track workouts in addition to seasonal longer weekend runs that help members train for specific events. Members also regularly gather for impromptu workouts and coordinate details on our club forum.
Does the group get together for social events as well?
We like to joke that we are a social club with a triathlon problem. At a minimum, we have a monthly club happy hour - but we usually manage to fit in a couple more social events each month, especially in the warmer months when we can be outside! A rotating list of our social events can be found here. In addition, many of our group workouts end with a trip to a cafe or a bar for some post workout refueling and socializing.

Visit the DC Triathlon Club website for more information.

About the Author

Jamie Corey is a RRCA certified coach and author of Jamie has completed eight marathons, several triathlons and is currently training for her first Ironman. When she isn't trying to find the best bagel in town, she is usually tweeting at @TheRunster.