How the Cornell Triathlon Team Has Remained Positive and Active During the Pandemic
Coach Tom Giannettino
In mid-March the Cornell Triathlon Team had their National Championship cancelled and that hasn’t stopped the team. My Cornell University squad has far exceeded any pandemic blues. I’m so extremely proud of all these student athletes. Many of the athletes stayed in the Cornell College Town area, which has made many socially distant workouts possible. Our club has had so much motivation that we incorporated daily Strava challenges and we also have monthly relays where we divide into teams virtually. Many of the athletes combine their talent with social media to make the challenges fun.
To highlight just last week, I organized a triathlon for everyone. My wife assisted me with taking the athlete’s temperatures and following strict social distancing protocol. The triathlon started with either an 800 or 1600 yard swim in Owasco Lake. Out of the water, we transitioned to a scenic, hilly ride down the west side of the lake. 30-miles later they were close to Cayuga Lake where the final leg began and was a 10k run back to Cornell University’s Campus. The energy was so contagious! We had 9 athletes complete the race. Everyone had a fun and exciting time!
Although the triathlon seemed like a challenge, it doesn’t come close to recognizing some of the amazing accomplishments these athletes have conquered over the last 5 months. Two athletes have completed biking 9 out of the 11 Finger Lakes. One athlete has been competing against himself to see how many miles he can train in a month. So far his biggest month is: 30 minutes swimming, 219 miles biking and 73 miles running. I’ve also had a couple athletes trek through almost all of New York on bikes and one covered four states on her cycling journey. Several athletes got the Century bug, eight have completed the 100 mile journey and three have completed two of them. The remainder of the club has been hammering out mileage on a daily basis.
Our team, which includes myself and one more coach have an annual total of 15,653 miles which only includes 23 of us participating. As a club we are extremely excited because we are on course to reach our overall 2020 goal of tri’ing around the earth which is 24,901 miles. Whether this season allows us back to racing or not, collectively, we have our sights on a goal.
If you have specific questions for Coach Tommy G., or would like more information about working with him, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.