SIUE triathlon presents students with a customizable, in-person fitness challenge

With a year full of changing guidelines, SIUE Campus Recreation is looking to welcome students, faculty and fitness center members to participate in their annual triathlon. 


Tri It Your Way is an annual indoor triathlon hosted at SIUE, but this year the campus recreation is adding the option of competing with others instead of by oneself. In addition, there is the option to compete in three different lengths: the olympic, half and full. All categories include a swimming, biking and running portion of varying distances. 


Assistant Director of Recreational Programs Natalie Rosales-Hawkins said the addition of different lengths allow for more people to participate.


“I really wanted this program to be as inclusive as possible for any student or fitness center member that could engage with us,” Rosales-Hawkins said. “It gives the individual the opportunity to choose which event or distance they want to compete in.”


Unlike a traditional triathlon where all three events are done in one day, this event is allowing the swimming, biking and running portions to be completed anytime within a one month period, which will run from March 17 to April 18. Health and Wellness Graduate Intern Kristine Miller said this allows participants to go at their own pace.


“They have plenty of time to get all of their mileage in,” Miller said. “It is strictly indoor. It’s to get people inside the student facility center and get an opportunity to utilize our treadmills, swimming pool and [our] stationary bikes that they can utilize for the event.”


Personal fitness altogether has changed with the pandemic forcing gyms and fitness centers to close their doors. Personal Fitness Supervisor Lucas Kime said he wants others to know the recreation centers services are being offered as normal. 


“We’re able to do everything that we were able to do before the pandemic,” Kime said. “We just have to take more mild precautions, like [to] wear masks, be aware of capacity for each room, but that really hasn’t been an issue.”


As of now, Kime said there haven’t been as many people wanting a personal trainer. Before the pandemic, Kime said more people were coming in to learn about personal training and the fitness assessments they offer. Kime said it’s now hard to get people to come back in to train or do the fitness assessments.


“The fitness assessments are absolutely free,” Kime said. “All you have to do is [be] a student or student fitness center member. It kind of gives us some baseline values of overall health and wellness. There are a few different assessments, [such as] blood pressure [tests].”


Group fitness at the recreation center has evolved as well. The addition of virtual group-sessions alongside the in-person classes, with limited spots available, has allowed SIUE to reach more people. 


“Everybody has different comfort zones right now, so we’re offering both virtual and group fitness [classes],” Miller said. “That way they can engage with what they’re comfortable with.”


As the wants of the students, faculty and other members of the recreation center change, so do the plans of SIUE. Rosales-Hawkins said the increased desire of student organizations to do virtual fitness sessions made the recreation center adapt to their requests. 


“We’ve had to think outside the box as well,” Rosales-Hawkins said. “Going virtual for us was new territory, but we had to welcome it because we had to meet the students where they were at. [This] is the new norm. We have a virtual fitness class Monday through Friday.”

Registration for the Tri It Your Way indoor triathlon is open until March 14 on IMLeagues. For more information email Kristine Miller at

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