Team Evotri is proud to bring you the first address of our resident Spartan, JP Severin, in his new column, The Collegiate:
You may or may not be aware of the largest growing sector of the triathlon community. I guess if I write this column properly and you still don’t know, then I would either be out of touch or a bad writer. Hopefully, I am neither, but I digress. Either way, the college triathlon crowd is one few people get to see, as there are only a scattering of collegiate races. Throughout the coming months, I will be giving you a taste of how exciting, dynamic, and fast these races can be, and I will be sharing news from collegiate racing at large.
However, the college scene is much more that just racing. Most collegiate racers are on their school’s triathlon club. These clubs are like families to the athletes, as Michigan State’s has been to me. Through the coming months I will introduce you to my family, MSU triathlon. I will show you what we do in the community, what we do for fun, and what it is like to race with 20-30 of your best friends screaming like banshees every time they see you no matter how bad they are hurting during the race. At times you may say, “How can this be? This is madness.” No, THIS IS SPARTA!
The scene is set in Lake Placid, New York, 2008; however, it is anything but Placid. The MSU ritual shout erupts from the crowd.
“Spartans, what is your profession?”
Three staccato bellows answer the question.
“What makes the grass grow green?”
“Who do we hate?”
“What are we going to do?”
“Kill! Kill! Kill!”
As the Spartans enter the water, prepared to annihilate the Ironman course, the heavens opened up in anger. The storm began. Rain pummeled the racers' bodies and minds for 14 hours straight. Wills were tested and lesser individuals from lesser schools would have broken, but Spartans never surrender.
Nine representatives from Michigan State toed the line. Five were Ironman rookies but you would never know by how they raced. All are Ironmen now despite a combined five flat tires, one broken aerobar, one crash, horrible weather, and an incredibly difficult course.
MSU fans were all over Lake Placid. Cheers were varied and ranged from ‘Sparty on’, ‘Go Green’, to even promises of meeting the racers at East Lansing bars after the race was over. We ran all over God’s green earth, got soaked to the bone, yelled until we were hoarse, and banged empty Heineken bottles when our voices gave out. July 17th was a day that I was proud to be a Spartan.
One special award I would like to give out is the rookie of the year award, and that goes to Kristin Fredericks. While being relatively new to the sport of triathlon, and being introduced by her Ironman veteran husband, Tim, it was a tall order to take on an Ironman. After a blazing swim, she endured three flat tires on the bike course. One of which caused her to wait 45 minutes in the cold, pouring rain for support. It was enough to make anyone abandon, however, showing enormous determination, she made the bike cut by 15 minutes and set out on the run. I ran the last 2.5 miles with her and have never seen such heart. She crushed the hills of the last bit of the run to finish with 15 minutes to spare.
Congratulations to Joel, Tim, Weezy, Noll, Cindy, Kristin, Bogey, Josh, Scottie, and the Fredericks clan on great performances.