The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

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AOTI: Julianne Melby

Julianne Melby ’24 (photo courtesy of Melby).

Running 10k (6.2 miles) is hard enough. Now imagine running a 10k, after 25 miles on a bike and a 0.93 mile swim. This makes up a standard triathlon which Julianne Melby ‘24 competes in throughout the summer thanks to USA Triathlon’s Junior Elite Series. 

Melby started triathlon training when one of her friends convinced her to join. Since then, she has competed in races all over the country with a club team, competing against other clubs in the country. 

“I’m on a club team called MMTT and we can choose which races we register for,” she said. “I do most of the ones in the summer, starting in April and going until August.” 

Each year, the team trains for a national competition, this year in Iowa, competing against other triathlon teams across the country. Last year, Melby’s club ended up winning nationals. 

“You qualify for nationals in one of the previous series races,” she said. “The first day is the individual race, and the next day you do relays with the team, where everyone swims, bikes and runs a super short distance. [Nationals] always has such a great atmosphere, I always have pretty good races.”

A standard triathlon race consists of a 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike ride and 10 km run. The distances can vary depending on the course or type of race, and the individual race is what athletes work towards building the entire season. 

“I like the variety of it ,” she said. “Having just running sometimes can get a little repetitive, so having swimming and biking changes it up. I like all my teammates and traveling for races is fun.”

Besides being a decorated triathlete, Melby is also an important part of the running program at LT. Last year, she qualified for state in the 3200 meter dash, and has run in the past two Cross Country State Championship meets. 

“It’s improved my endurance a lot,” she said. “It’s a lot of cross training with swimming and biking, and has made me a lot faster as a runner.”

While Melby hopes to continue the sport later in her life, it is still new to the NCAA, and she’s not interested in attending any of the schools that currently offer the program. Her eventual goal would be to run an Iron\man, which is 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 miles of running, and she has come a long way since the beginning.

“My first triathlon I was really bad at transitions, which is where you transition from swimming to biking and biking to running,” Melby said. “I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I couldn’t get into my bike shoes, and I biked the entire thing barefoot.”

MMTT practices in St. Charles, which is about an hour from NC. Due to the distance, there are many athletes who have to train on their own. 

“There’s a pretty good core group of people that show up to a lot of the practices who live close enough to come,” she said. “I do a lot of training at home since it’s pretty far from me but everyone is super nice and pretty focused athletes. We spend a lot of time together and it’s always fun and it’s super rewarding to be around them.” 

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Katie Garrity
Katie Garrity, Sports Editor

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