Club Profile: Triathlon

As if swimming, biking and running isn’t a workout enough, try doing them all in the same day at one event. Sounds daunting, right? Well this is exactly the kind of high intensity workout that the Sonoma State Triathlon Club trains for. Being one of the smaller clubs on campus at a steady 10 students enables the group to bond even closer and motivate each other to keep pushing.  

Briana Valenzuela, triathlon club treasurer, says the group gets together two to three times a week to work on cardio, endurance, and different muscle groups needed to compete. 

“Although triathlons are an individual sport it really helps to have teammates to support you and help you improve,” said Valenzuela. “I’m a runner so I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to swim, bike or lift at the gym if it wasn’t for them.”

There are four typical racing distances for triathlons and they are usually done in the same order: swim, bike, and run. There’s Olympic, full, half and sprint. The sprint distance is the most popular among first time triathletes because it is the shortest of the four options with a 750-yard swim (about 30 laps in a 25 yard pool), biking 10-13 miles depending on the event and finish it all off with a 3.1-mile (5k) run. 

While daring students compete to finish all three individually, there is a relay option offered for triathletes who aren’t quite ready to finish the race alone. Students can participate in trios and each contributes a leg of the race. Triathlon Club President Sebastian Carrizosa says the relay race is ideal for people who want to get involved in the club but might be hesitant to join.

“Before I joined I always thought it’d be cool to finish a triathlon. I love swimming and cycling, running not so much, so it was a ‘why the heck not’ kind of moment for me,” said Carrizosa. 

The club works hard to train for each triathlon and so far it’s been working for them. This season they have raced in two triathlons against other collegiate teams from larger schools such as UC Davis, Stanford, UC Berkeley, CSU Chico and many other teams although the majority of triathlons are open to all competitors as well. 

The first triathlon event was the “Stanford Treeathlon” where two relay teams took first and third place. At the second event, the Napa Hits Triathlon Series, two triathletes took second place in their corresponding age divisions. 

“What I love most about this club is that I now know I can accomplish tasks that initially seemed beyond impossible and I’ve seen firsthand that remaining dedicated to something I’ve said I’ll do does pay off in the end,” said Carrizosa.

Anyone who in interested in joining triathlon club can find the team on Facebook, keyword SSU Triathlon Club or by e-mail at